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Alberta bus driver reflects on tragic crash, hoping for safe school year

Click to play video 'Alberta bus driver reflects on tragic crash, hopes for safe school year' Alberta bus driver reflects on tragic crash, hopes for safe school year
WATCH ABOVE: A Palliser Regional Schools bus driver involved in a fatal crash nearly two years ago hopes her story will remind drivers to exercise caution this school year. Joe Scarpelli reports – Sep 7, 2017

A Palliser Regional Schools bus driver involved in a tragic crash nearly two years ago is asking drivers to exercise caution this school year.

Amanda Otway was driving her regular Coalhurst route in October 2015 taking a busload of kids home from school. She came to a stop just outside the town and activated the electronic stop sign. The driver behind her didn’t stop.

“I was about to let my kid off the bus, everything seemed fine and before I know it, there’s a van clipping into the back left corner of my bus,” Otway said.

The van ended up in the ditch and a passenger, who was the mother of the driver, died of injuries sustained in the crash two days later.

READ MORE: No change recommended to school bus flashing lights policy in Calgary

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Otway and the kids on board were not injured, but it left her shaken.

“Nothing has ever come close to that with me.”

RCMP Sergeant Glenn Henry attended the scene that day.

“No first responder, whether it’s police, fire, EMS, want to respond to any type of injury collision involving a school bus,” Henry said.

He says there is zero tolerance when it comes to students safety.

“Safety has no compromise and especially safety with our children on school buses.”

The driver in the 2015 collision plead guilty to a charge of careless driving, admitting to looking in his rear view mirror when the crash occurred.

Palliser Regional Schools says it has already reported three fly by’s to commercial vehicle enforcement this week.

READ MORE: 5 children injured after school bus rollover in downtown Toronto

Otway reminded drivers there is no excuse for not stopping.

“Your time is not more important than stopping for a flashing stop sign on a school bus. These are children on our bus and it takes a split second for something drastic and horrible to happen.”

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