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Bus drivers will stand trial for reckless driving, other charges

The two Port Authority bus drivers who have been accused of “racing” each other will stand trial for reckless driving and other charges that stem from a 22 September accident along I-279 that sent one of the buses through a guardrail, according to a district judge on Friday. The drivers, a 56-year-old man from Brookline and 46-year-old woman from Ross, will stand trial on all charges, said District Judge Gene Ricciardi on Friday afternoon. The male driver face eleven total charges, including a felony count of leaving the scene of an accident involving death or personal injury, as well as five misdemeanor traffic offenses and five summary counts. The female driver, who rolled down the embankment, will face nine charges total, four misdemeanors and five summary counts. In court on Friday, the assistant district attorney played a surveillance video of from the male driver’s bus publicly for the first time. It shows the driver making a whipping motion, characterized as a “buggy whipping motion” with one hand, and waving along the female’s bus as both buses were speeding down Interstate 279. Witnesses in the courtroom said the two drivers looked at one another in disgust and shook their heads during that portion of the video. Police witnesses from the scene of the accident say that the two drivers were traveling at least ten miles per hour over the posted 55 mph zone. Police say they were able to confirm a collision between the two buses collided from finding paint marks from each bus on the other. Police say the male driver stopped the bus and got out, but then continued along his 18 Manchester bus route and did not make any attempt to report the accident. At the time of the accident, there were no passengers aboard either of the busses. The affidavit says that shortly after 2 p.m. on 22 September, the male driver was waving goodbye to the female driver as he passed her in the left lane. He then took his right hand off the steering wheel, made a “buggy whip” motion, and waved on the female driver. The two driver’s speeds at the time were 63.2 mph and 64.8 mph, respectively. The male driver told police that he heard the sound of tires screeching and then didn’t see the female driver’s bus in his mirror anymore. He said it wasn’t until he pulled over that he realized that the female driver’s bus has careened off the road. And he denied that the two busses ever made any contact. The female driver told police that she misjudged a bend and lost control, but did not remember much of anything after the bus went over the hill This case is interesting because the video evidence is minimal, but there is the question of why the male driver didn’t go to check on the female driver and why he didn’t call the accident in to emergency crews. Speculators are unsure of how the case will end, but if one thing is for certain it’s that the ridicule placed on a bus driver who makes an erroneous decision is viewed as exponentially worse than that of a normal driver. There were no passengers, therefore the two drivers were only putting their own lives at risk if they were in fact racing, so final judgments can go either way in this one. Source: TribLive.com, “Bus drivers to stand trial; I-279 accident video shown in court” 5 December 2014

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