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No fault found in Elma bus incident at railroad crossing

Originally posted 6-19-19

An Elma bus driver was not at fault after being caught under a railroad crossing.

A video posted to Facebook on June 4 by Owen Swartz showed an Elma school bus caught underneath a crossing arm, catching the safety device on the roof, and driving across the railroad tracks as the red warning lights on the crossing arm flash.

In the video, it does not show a train and no horns can be heard, however it originally stated that a “train passed like 5-10 seconds after” before it was edited to state “train passed not long after”.

The video description also was edited to say “the bus was stopped on the tracks when the arms came down. I just happened to be behind and took a video when I saw it happen”.

Late Tuesday night, the Elma School District posted a statement from Superintendent Kevin Acuff stating that an investigation found that the driver was not at fault.

The district had posted a statement saying that they asked the Elma Police Department to investigate the circumstances around the incident. In the update posted Tuesday, it states the investigation is now complete.

While no fault was found, the district will be addressing some safety issues with all their drivers.

“In an effort to ensure the highest level of student safety, the District is enhancing training guidelines to address how drivers should handle obstructed views at railroad crossings.”

Photo property of Google

In a video posted to Eagle Eyes: Elma Neighborhood Watch, it appeared to show that trees and bushes may have partially blocked visibility if stopped at the tracks.

Acuff stated that the driver in this incident will be included in the re-training with enhanced standards.

Photos created using stills of Owen Swartz’ video

 


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