‘He averted a catastrophe’: Parent praises bus driver after 18-wheeler fell from overpass above

A Nova Scotia bus driver is being lauded for his quick action after a tractor-trailer crashed through the guardrail of an overpass on a busy highway and landed just feet in front of the school bus on the road below.

“I think it’s a miracle, and I think we really have to thank the bus driver for his attention to detail in those moments,” said Matthew Baird, whose stepsons, both Rocky Lake Junior High students, were on the bus travelling along Highway 102 near Bedford, N.S., on Thursday afternoon.

Baird said he spoke with the bus driver.

“He mentioned that he was worried that if he turned the wheels too quickly as he was braking, the bus could potentially flip over, so he averted a catastrophe,” Baird said.

Baird’s stepsons sent him photos right after the crash.

RCMP said there were no injuries reported from the crash. (Talk Bedford/Facebook)

“It looked like something out of a movie set … I see something damaged in front of the bus. And then I scroll to the next page and I see that the guardrail is completely missing off this overpass and there’s a massive truck that has come off the overpass and, at that point, I wasn’t sure where it landed. Apparently, about a foot before the bus,” he said.

When his stepsons arrived home, they told Baird about how the bus driver kept everybody calm.

“They realized something was happening because the bus was braking quite hard and then they saw something come flying off the highway and they were just absolutely speechless,” said Baird.

Plans in works to thank driver

The Halifax Regional Centre for Education said plans are underway to formally thank the driver. Details are expected to be announced next week.

RCMP are still investigating, but say there isn’t any evidence to suggest the driver of the tractor-trailer did anything criminal.

View of a vehicular crash from a bus winder.
Baird says his stepson took this photo from inside the school bus on Thursday afternoon. (Submitted by Matthew Baird)

In an email, Nova Scotia’s Department of Public Works said the Highway 101 overpass and guardrail were inspected after the crash and a temporary barrier was installed.

“The temporary barrier will remain while work begins on the installation of [the] new bridge rail system,” it said.

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