The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

01 April 2005

Bus + Massachusetts = Trouble

Baby Dies, Student Beaten
What's a Bus Driver to Do?

It was a bad day to be a Massachusetts transit driver or rider yesterday. Two incidents, one on the MBTA system and another on a Cape Cod skool bus, left a baby dead and a student badly beaten.

Think driving one is easy? In both cases, the focus is now partly on their reactions:

In Bourne, a 17-year-old Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School student was severely injured after a brutal beating by a lunatic punk. It took three students and the driver to remove 18-year-old suspect Daniel Simmons from victim Doug Langlois.

The driver is taking a big share of the blame for continuing to drive to the school, passing police and fire stations along the way while students screamed at him to stop immediately, so the boy could be rushed to the hospital. He's been suspended with pay.

It's easy to second-guess his actions, but what was he to do? We weren't there. It's hard to imagine, though, why he wouldn't have wanted to stop and get immediate emergency assistance.

What if Langlois had died due to the driver's inaction? Would he face involuntary manslaughter charges?

Though this type of incident could happen in any part of the country, there's a major issue with violent teen punks, that the Bay State simply must begin to debate openly and honestly.

(Boston Globe- Kathleen Burge- Megan Tench- 1 April 2005)

On a ride that started with some tossed jelly beans, a 17-year-old Sandwich student was severely beaten on a school bus that picked up students at five more stops as the driver passed a fire and police station while students shouted at him to stop, the student and school officials said yesterday.

Langlois, who suffered facial fractures, said he was punched repeatedly in the face and chest by an 18-year-old schoolmate, Daniel Simmons. Friends later told him it took three students to pull Simmons off, Langlois said. Police issued a warrant yesterday for Simmons's arrest on an assault charge.

As he lay drifting in and out of consciousness, fellow students told the driver that Langlois was injured and bleeding, according to Langlois.

But he said the driver did not stop the bus to check on his condition, driving 20 more minutes before reaching the school. Langlois was then taken to Falmouth Hospital, where he was treated for fractures of his nose, cheek, and eye socket and then released.

In the second incident, a T driver was fast to act, but it was too late to save a bruised baby that stopped breathing on board the bus. An eagle-eyed driver noticed the mother attempting to perform CPR on the infant and flagged down a passing policeman:

(Boston Globe- David Abel- Suzanne Smalley- April 1, 2005)

A 9-month-old boy was found covered in bruises and in cardiac arrest aboard an MBTA bus in Mattapan yesterday afternoon and was taken to Boston Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, police officials said.

The infant was carried onto the bus by his mother, whom police declined to identify. As of last night, police said she was not considered a suspect in the infant's death.

''We're not saying there was foul play yet," said Police Superintendent Bobbie Johnson. ''We're saying we're investigating. . . . The baby had trauma visible in multiple parts of its body."

MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said the woman boarded the bus in Mattapan Square about 4:20 p.m. with her baby in a blue stroller. She sat near the front of the bus, Pesaturo said.

About eight minutes later, the woman began administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to the infant as he sat in the stroller, Pesaturo said. The bus driver noticed and waved down a police vehicle.

Click the link to read the rest of this story, it's simply amazing to think how preventable this death might have been if action had been taken, days earlier, to figure out what was going on in the child's home.

The question: how responsible should drivers be as to what occurs on their buses?


  • The school bus driver who did not call for help immediately &/or stop at the first police or fire station he/she passed should be tossed in jail as an accessory to the crime. Additionally, I hope he/she not only loses his/her job immediately. This was totally irresponsible behavior.

    Unfortunately, school bus drivers are often not very responsible people and parents should take a long hard look at these people who have life/death responsibility for their children to and from school.

    By the day, do school bus drivers have the "call police" banner they can display on the front of the bus like NYC busses do? If so, was it displayed?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 April, 2005 10:28  

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