Wednesday April 23, 2014





Passengers blamed in YouTube incident

Investigation shows bus driver remained calm during confrontation with passengers

A screenshot from the video showing the bus driver.

An incident entitled “Kamloops B.C. Transit driver kidnaps passengers” on YouTube may result in criminal charges — against the passengers.

A B.C. Transit spokeswoman said Friday results of its investigation show the bus driver was calm, his only failing was that he didn’t call for a transit supervisor earlier when the situation was heating up.

Meanwhile, independent accounts of four witnesses, including some also riding the bus, point the blame at two passengers.

“We’ve heard from RCMP their recommendation of assault and mischief (charges) against the two passengers,” said B.C. Transit spokeswoman Meribeth Burton.

The story of supposed mistreatment by a bus driver received national attention.

Both Bradley Smith, who took cellphone video of the confrontation, and an unnamed woman — who can be heard yelling “you’re the worst driver” and “all I wanted to do was get off at my stop” — were involved in a confrontation with the driver, who appeared calm.

Shortly after the incident early this month, Smith told reporters the driver passed a stop on purpose and locked the doors of the bus at the Thompson Rivers University exchange, keeping passengers on board against their will.

The driver was suspended with pay while an investigation was done by B.C. Transit.

But Burton said two other passengers on the bus that day came forward to B.C. Transit and RCMP after the incident went public.

Burton said witnesses reported that Smith kicked the driver, who fell back and smashed a five-foot glass panel in the door.

Smith could not be reached for comment Friday.

RCMP Const. Bernie Ward said it has not concluded its investigation and no recommendations have been forwarded to Crown prosecutors regarding the incident.

Transit Service in Kamloops is operated by First Canada ULC. It declined comment.

B.C. Transit said the company has reinstated the driver, who agreed to take “refresher training.”


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