Bus driver should be commended for quick action, identifying driver after hit-and-run

To the Editor:

The executive board of the Guilderland Central School District Employees’ Association would like to respond to an article in the Jan. 25 issue of the paper titled “Tough Crossing: Student Hit.”

This news article started out describing an incident that occurred on the previous Tuesday morning where a pedestrian was struck by a car while crossing the street at the intersection of Route 146 and School Road at about 6:58 a.m. The pedestrian was reportedly a Guilderland High School student walking to school.

The article describes the incident and what allegedly occurred and then the story turns to the problem of pedestrians crossing the intersection with vehicles not yielding to crossers while the “Walk” sign is activated with a countdown timer.

A color photograph with the article depicts the intersection with a pedestrian standing near the metal pole where the button to activate the crossing light is located. The picture depicts a Guilderland Central School District bus making a right turn at the same time clearly showing the light was green.

The Enterprise seems to insinuate that the bus in question is proceeding through the intersection not allowing the pedestrian to cross after she pushed the crossing button. If one looks closely at the photo, one can see that the pedestrian is not near the crosswalk; she is at the extreme right-hand side of the sidewalk at the furthest point away from the roadway and obviously not in a position to cross the street.

The person in the photo has her foot up in the elevated island back from the road. If the pedestrian were in position to cross the road, a Guilderland bus driver would surely have stopped and let this person cross the road.

This article fails to mention that is was a Guilderland bus driver and a member of the Guilderland Central School District Employees Association who witnessed the accident and immediately radioed it in, getting assistance for the struck student.

Furthermore, the article fails to emphasize that this accident was hit-and-run and, because of the alert observation of the bus driver, the police were given a description of the vehicle that resulted in the vehicle being located and the driver being identified.

There is no argument that the matter of pedestrians crossing this intersection safely is of the utmost importance for the safety of the public and especially our students. The problem the bus drivers’ union has with this story is The Enterprise’s implying that the buses are proceeding through the intersection in such a way that pedestrians are not allowed to cross when they have the go-ahead depicted on the crosswalk illuminated light. No such thing is true.

Instead of insinuating school buses are endangering pedestrians in the intersection, The Enterprise ought to be commending the bus driver whose quick actions and observations allowed the student struck to get quick aid and also led to the identification of the driver involved in the accident.

Kal Dunston, president

Kenneth Kennedy, vice president

Executive Board

GCSD Employees’ Association

Editor’s note: See related story.

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