Resident: “˜I almost lost my children”™ when car passed bus

Two residents here are concerned about a vehicle using the shoulder to pass a stopped school bus along Highway 7 east of Rockwood between the 6th and 7th Lines.

Daniel Ollmann said the incident occurred on April 1.

“The school bus was pulled over, stopped on the road with their signs out, and somebody decided to pass on the passenger side of the bus, go on the gravel side of the road, as my wife and children were coming across the road,” Ollmann said.

“If my kids would have been getting off of the bus they would have been struck and killed.”

Ollmann’s wife Shirley Payne said she saw the car pull up to the bus’ stop sign, reverse and pass on right.

“I put one foot around the side of the bus and then ‘boom’ he was there so I pushed myself back and I grabbed my kids and stood back and he kept speeding off,” she said.

Though she was too shocked and angry to get a description of the car, Payne said the bus driver told her the car was a black Pontiac.

Ollmann said they filed a complaint with the police and a sergeant came out to the house to assess the situation and walked Ollmann’s 4- and 8-year-old children across the road to the bus one morning.

“I thought that was very admirable of him and then I haven’t seen a police presence since,” he said.

Yet OPP media relations officer, constable Bob Bortolato said police are aware of the incident.

“Our traffic unit was informed and they’ve been investigating and they’ve been trying to locate the driver,” he told the Advertiser.

“They’re working with the bus line to work with them and they’re active with patrol and monitoring traffic through that highway and Highway 7.”

However, Bortolato did say the monitoring “wouldn’t be a daily thing with an officer sitting there” but officers have been patrolling the area.

About three weeks after the original incident, Ollmann saw another car ignore the stop sign on the stopped bus and drive by on the road.

He also went into the police station to make a complaint about that incident.

Payne mentioned another incident of a car passing the bus when its lights were flashing early in May that she also reported to the police.

Payne said a representative from the bus line told her the company has received similar reports from other residents  along the same stretch of road.

Ollmann said passing on the shoulder concerns him most.

“The one that disturbs me is the guy going up … the side of the road,” he said.

“It really disturbs me that I almost lost my children that day, my whole family.”

Bortolato said these types of incidents aren’t a trend, but they are taken seriously within the police department.

Ollmann and Payne say they have also contacted Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott to discuss the incidents.