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We Were All Screaming': School Bus Driver Out of a Job After Near-Collision With Speeding Train Caught on Cellphone Video


"I was terrified. I thought I was going to die."

Photo credit: Shutterstock

A Klein Oak High School bus driver in Houston found herself in serious trouble last week when she came "dangerously close" to causing her bus to be hit by an oncoming train. The event was caught on a cell phone camera and has been widely circulated across the Internet.

The alarming incident occurred Feb. 10 at the intersection of Northcrest and Root Road in Houston when the unnamed female bus driver took her bus filled with high school students on their way home. According to proper procedures, the driver was supposed to stop at least 15 feet from the intersection, open the doors, look down the tracks and listen carefully to ensure that no trains were coming, KPRC-TV reported. But in this case, the school district claims that the driver, who drove the bus forward and stopped in the middle of the tracks, did not follow the proper protocol when an oncoming train nearly slammed into the back of her bus.

"I was terrified. I thought I was going to die," student Harold VanAlstyne IV told KPRC. "We were all screaming and telling her to move forward. Everyone was just really freaking out," he said, adding that the bus driver did move the vehicle forward and off the tracks at the very last second.

"My heart dropped. I had two sons on that bus," father Harold VanAlstyne III told KPRC. "To me, any responsible adult should take care of anyone else's children like their own."

The school district was not pleased with the bus driver's behavior.

"On Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 2:18 at the intersection of Northcrest and Root Rd., a bus transporting Klein Oak High School students home from school came dangerously close to being hit by a train," said a statement issued by the school, according to KTRK-TV. "The bus driver subsequently returned the bus to school reporting that the students were too loud for the bus to be driven safely. The bus driver was suspended while the incident was investigated. The investigation revealed that the driver did not follow standard procedures when crossing the railroad track with the train coming in the distance. The bus driver is no longer employed by the district."

The driver's daughter, however, claimed that her mother had been a dedicated bus driver for 20 years, even though she had often been bullied by students, KPRC reported. The daughter also claimed that her mother, contrary to popular opinion, was not fired from her job, but resigned instead.

Follow Kathryn Blackhurst (@kablackhurst) on Twitter

Front-page image via Shutterstock

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