The school district superintendent says a school bus driver “saved a life” by keeping a crash from turning out worse on Cedar Road this week.
Emergency personnel were called to the intersection of Cedar and Fielding roads on Monday, Jan. 10, a little before 3:30 p.m. where a school bus and a sport-utility vehicle had collided.
Crews on scene said there were two students on the bus, but no one was injured in the incident, which completely closed that stretch of Cedar Road. Police issued the driver of the SUV a violation ticket for failing to keep right.
Scott Saywell, Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools superintendent, said at a school district business committee meeting Wednesday, Jan. 12, that quick thinking by school bus driver Parry Harder saved a life.
“Incredibly, the two students on board and the bus driver walked away relatively unscathed, as well as the driver of the vehicle that hit them and, while we are fortunate that no one was seriously injured, fortune and luck had very little to do with it,” Saywell said. “It was expert driving and split-second decision-making by the bus driver that averted a collision that would have been much worse, including possibly, the loss of life.”
Trustee Stephanie Higginson added that Harder was already something of a community hero in Cedar, as in the past he has shovelled snow to clear safe waiting areas for students, and has decorated his bus and handed out Christmas gifts to students. She said she wasn’t surprised to find out that his driving had helped avert possible tragedy.
“Not only is he an expert driver, he cares so much for the students that he drives around,” Higginson said.
Saywell went on to add that all SD68’s bus drivers have “persevered through the pandemic” to bring students to and from home safely in all kinds of weather.