A freak chain of events likely caused by a bus driver being on the phone has killed an 8-month-old baby in New Jersey. The driver hit a lamppost, which then fell on the stroller killing the baby and leaving the mother "hysterical." The bus then hit a tree, another lamppost, and a parked car, which struck three other parked vehicles.
The driver has been summoned for reckless driving and using a cellphone while driving. The infant, Angela Paredes, was bleeding from the head and not breathing when authorities arrived. She died on the way to the hospital. What a tragedy. What a horrible, senseless, unimaginable tragedy. As a mom, it's hard to even imagine the panic and helplessness one would feel losing a baby like that, and then the cellphone thing is just infuriating. No call is THAT important.
How could a BUS driver not know better? Clearly, distracted driving is a major problem for everyone on the road, but a bus is a large vehicle. It's a PUBLIC vehicle. It's illegal to use a handheld phone in your car in many states for good reason. Why did no one say anything?
I have an idea. No one said anything because they didn't want to be the jerk who tells the driver to get off the phone. They probably either didn't notice or they assumed they would complain later (and then would have forgotten about it later that day) or they were too busy on their own phones to notice.
A baby is dead because no one said anything. Would he have stopped if someone had? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe someone DID say something and it isn't being reported. In the end, obviously, the fault is with him. But we can also make a difference. We all hear "if you see something, say something" in regards to terrorist activity or criminal activity, but that could also apply to something like this.
Had someone stopped him, he wouldn't have hit that lamppost and that little girl would be home with her mom right now. Safe and sound. All this because of one phone call.
My heart is broken over the idea of that poor mom who was out enjoying a beautiful day one minute and who was dealing with a dead child the next. No call is worth that. I hope this bus driver pays a massive price for his irresponsibility and that people have the courage to speak up if their bus driver is doing something like this. Let's not forget that the recent horrific train derailment in Spain in which the conductor was likely on the phone as well.
This is clearly a problem. And it's deadly.
Would you say something if your bus driver were on the phone?
Image via Paris on Ponce & Le Maison.../Flickr