LOCAL NEWS

Crossing Arm Rested On School Bus Feet From Passing Train

Dec 18, 2019, 10:22 PM | Updated: Dec 19, 2019, 9:02 am

WOODS CROSS, Utah — Concerns have been raised about student safety after a video showed a crossing arm down on top of a school bus as a FrontRunner train rumbled past in Davis County.

Blake Walker said he pulled up to the crossing near 1100 North and 1100 West Wednesday afternoon and couldn’t believe what he saw.

“I was like, ‘wow, man, like that’s crazy!’” Walker recalled. ”I knew there were kids on that bus and whatnot. He didn’t really have a chance to back up or anything and I was like kind of like scared for them, to be honest.”

Walker began to record on his phone and soon heard the horn of the approaching train.

“Oh no!” he could be heard exclaiming in the video.

Moments later, the train blew past the bus as Walker could be heard gasping for air.

“It zoomed right past them,” Walker said. “I know if my kid was on that bus, I would be freaking out right now.”

Davis School District spokesman Chris Williams said the bus driver acknowledged that the crossing arm had come down on top of the school bus.

“What the bus driver always does is inches forward to make sure he can see any train coming from either direction,” Williams said in a phone interview Wednesday evening. “There have been times like today in which as he inches forward an arm will come down and rest on the front of the bus. He is still roughly 15 feet away from the tracks, so he’s still in a safe zone in which there’s not going to be any contact with the train that’s coming.”

Williams equated the driver’s actions to standard protocol.

“Woods Cross City knows that it has happened occasionally and that’s why our bus drivers are very careful at that spot,” Williams said. “They just inch forward to see if there’s any train coming and if the arm goes down, they’re advised, ‘don’t move, just wait for the train to go through,’ and then they go through.”

When asked about the situation and the district’s response, Utah Transit Authority spokesman Carl Arky said investigators would take a closer look.

“Safety is always UTA’s top priority,” Arky said in a statement. “We ask that all drivers observe the warning signals and if they see the flashing red lights and hear the bells sound stop immediately. If the lights are flashing and the bells are sounding assume there is a train coming. We advise everyone not to inch forward and to exercise extreme caution when approaching a railroad crossing. UTA will be reviewing the situation.”

Walker said he was grateful nobody ultimately was hurt, but that what he saw made him worry.

“Seriously, yeah, I really thought, like, that guy was toast, man—it was crazy!” Walker said. “At the end of the day, I wouldn’t want my kids on that bus.”

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Crossing Arm Rested On School Bus Feet From Passing Train