Join Waukesha resident Brien Lee and his blog, Sir Fido, as they explore the city and report on the interesting things they find.
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We've all heard it before. Excuses made for serious crimes or accidents. Like having alcohol or drugs in the system somehow explains their actions and lessens the responsibility for them. How about the people causing crashes who blame inattentive driving on adjusting the radio, dropping a cigarette, yakking on the phone or your distraction here?
One memorable distraction of my own was 16 years ago when I left work early because I felt nauseous. I ended up throwing up while driving I-94 at 65 mph. Like many distractions, this one came without warning or enough time to pull over. Unlike the latest distraction of the trucker who slammed into the school bus, I was able to stay in my lane and never lost sight of what was in front of me.
It's said the truck driver was drinking from or choking on a soda. Doing around 50 mph he slammed into the bus, stopped and with flashing lights. 16 un-seatbelted kids all survived the horrific crash. Miraculously. Thank God for all the mandated safety features of school buses. Because there was fire, things could have gone the other way. No amount of safety features could have protected the kids from a gas-fueled fire.
If you were driving a 50,000 pound bomb 50 mph down a road where school buses are common at 3:30, would you allow yourself to become so distracted that you don't see flashing red lights of a school bus or even slow down? There must be more to this story and it'll be interesting to see what, if anything, the driver is charged with.
There's too many similarities of this accident with the Bukosky accident: all the victims on the way home from school on a Friday, all hit from behind by a larger vehicle doing around 50. Didn't appear any attempt was made to slow down or stop.
The difference in the accidents is all in Jennifer Bukosky's car were wearing seatbelts, and three didn't survive. None of the kids on the bus wore seatbelts, and all survived. It's a testament that safety features on buses really do save lives.
On another matter: a couple days ago we learned a Milwaukee man blew a 0.03 when he showed up at the Waukesha County Courthouse for his seventh OWI. He had been out on bail and was told not to drink as one of his conditions. Are any brain cells left? This guy wasn't thinking.
********6/3 update: trucker gets wrist slap***********
Truck driver ticketed in school bus crash
A truck driver who slammed into the back of a Wheatland Center School bus May 23 won't face criminal charges, but he has been cited for the crash that injured 16, authorities said.
Mark Irek, 51, of Elkhorn told investigators he began choking after he sipped water, and that he closed his eyes as he coughed.
Irek was ticketed for inattentive driving and for failing to stop for a school bus, sheriff's Lt. Paul Falduto said.
Beyond that, "the investigation determined there was no criminal negligence involved," Falduto said. "The case is closed. The tickets are issued."