St. Landry

Dec 9, 2010 11:17 PM by Maddie Garrett

Bus Driver Talks About Route, Accident

Friday marks one week since the deadly bus accident in Port Barre. KATC'S Maddie Garrett sheds light on a different perspective, from the man who drives that route everyday. Michael Haynes is the regular driver of that bus and he's still picking up and dropping off kids on those same stops five days a week. He says he's always on the look out.
"Highway 190 is a heavily traveled highway and there's always a possibility of an accident," said Haynes.
Haynes has been driving the route through Port Barre for several months now. The one day he wasn't driving a deadly accident happened right after one of the stops.
"My heart goes out to all of the students that were injured and to the parents that lost their daughter my heart and prayers are with them," he said.
Haynes is back on that route, with a heavier heart and an even more watchful eye.
"As far as thinking about everyday, yeah you do think about it everyday, you regret to have to go on that highway," he said.
He says when it comes to Highway 190, he's constantly alert, looking out for other drivers and dangers.
"My number one concern basically is hoping that the driver behind me or beside me sees me and is as alert as I am," said Haynes.
Haynes says he's seen close calls with other cars before, but never like the crash last Friday.
"It seems like sometimes we are always in a hurry, but you have to remember those are kids that are on that bus and there are parents that are waiting for these kids to be returned back home."
As for changes, he hopes the school board and other officials can think of something. But Haynes explains, the route is tricky, because of the way residential homes are set up next to the highway.
"As of now it's as safe as it possibly can be but there's always room for improvement," he said.
And to give the public a chance to discuss and hear about possible changes to that route, there's going to be a public meeting next Monday. It will be at the Opelousas Civic Center at 6:30 p.m. Representatives from the School Board, DPS Troopers and the Department of Transportation will all be in attendance.

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