Post-Accident Lapses Warrant Termination for Bus Driver

|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 02/04/2011

Encountering black ice while navigating her bus through a snow storm, a coach driver lost control of her vehicle and hit the ditch. While there were no serious injuries, the employer terminated the one-year employee alleging that her lack of proper judgment contributed to the accident and that she failed to follow established procedures both before and after the accident.

Driving her coach westbound on Highway 567 east of Airdrie, Alberta early on October 14, 2009, A.M. encountered icy, snow-covered roads and blowing snow. Slowing to about 55 kilometres per hour, at one point, A.M. attempted to correct the coach’s rightward drift. However, she lost control of the bus, which fish-tailed and then spun 180 degrees, finally coming to rest in the ditch on the right-hand side of the road.

Seeking to lend assistance, a safety manager with an allied school bus company arrived on the scene to discover the bus down a steep embankment. No flares or triangular warning markers had been deployed.