School bus stop near miss 'one of the scariest moments of my life'

A P.E.I. mother watched helplessly Tuesday morning as a driver drove past a stopped school bus and almost ran down her six-year-old daughter.

Police looking for witnesses

Jill Lindstedt's daughter has to cross the highway to get on the school bus in the morning. (Submitted by Jill Lindstedt)

A P.E.I. mother says she watched helplessly Tuesday morning as a driver drove past a stopped school bus and almost ran down her six-year-old daughter.

"She just didn't slow down at all. I guess she must've looked up and saw Koral last second. She swerved around her, and just barely missed her," said Jill Lindstedt.

"I looked back, once the car went by and thought, 'Is she still standing there?' And she was. She was OK. She hadn't gotten hit."

The incident happened about 7:50 a.m. Tuesday on the Trans-Canada Highway in Albany, P.E.I.

"It was a pretty close call," Lindstedt said. "Probably one of the scariest moments of my life."

'Worst he had ever seen'

Const. Jeff Wright with East Prince RCMP said the school bus was stopped on the Trans-Canada Highway in Albany with its red stop lights flashing and its stop sign deployed, when the driver of a white Jeep Cherokee did not stop.

"The potential in these incidents is huge. Yesterday could have been a major, major tragedy," said Wright.

"The bus driver himself told me he's been driving a bus in that area for 22 years and that was the worst he had ever seen. He actually had to pull over to the side of the road for several minutes to allow himself to calm down. He was that worked up. It was that close."

Randy Gallant, principal of Amherst Cove Consolidated where Koral goes to school, says this isn't the first time he has seen an incident like this.

"My reaction was, 'Not again.' … We've had several incidences, and I would probably hazard I guess most schools have, that there have been vehicles passing through bus stops with the amber or red light flashing. And we've had a couple in the past that have been close enough to shake up the people involved," he said.

"This was probably the closest call we've had due to how everything played out."

Lindstedt said this is not the first time she has seen a vehicle not stopping appropriately for the school bus at the end of her driveway. On several occasions, she said, she has pulled her daughter back, but this time she was already on the road.

She said she watched a van drive through the bus's red lights when she went down to meet her daughter Tuesday afternoon, but in the afternoon her daughter doesn't have to cross the highway.

RCMP are still looking for more witnesses to the morning incident.

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With files from Steve Bruce