Non-union school bus crash in Bushwick

(Metro File Photo)
The school bus drivers’ union strike is now in its fourth week. The city received the new bids for contracts on Tuesday, the same day as the bus crash.  (Metro File Photo)

A school bus crashed into a car in Brooklyn on Tuesday morning, leaving 14 people injured, including 11 children.

According to the FDNY, all injuries were minor, except for those of the driver of the car. The driver was listed as seriously injured but stable. The injured were all transported to area hospitals.

The accident occurred at 8:10 a.m. at the intersection of Myrtle and Wilson Avenues, the NYPD reported.

With most of the city’s school bus drivers still on strike due to a dispute with the Department of Education (DOE) over a request for bids for bus company contracts, local organization Parents to Improve School Transportation (PIST) checked with the Amalgamated Transportation Union Local 1181 and received confirmation that the bus in question was a non-union bus.

The new bids were due in to the city on Tuesday, the same day as the school bus crash.

Sara Catalinotto said this accident shows the danger posed to children being driven by non-union bus drivers.

“I would not put my child on a bus with crew that is not vetted or screened or certified like the people who are now mostly on strike,” Catalinotto said.

Catalinotto has heard reports, she said, that the DOE told companies who aren’t on strike to use a second bus driver in place of a matron on buses that usually have an attendant. This would primarily affect special needs students; matrons are attendants trained to work with disabled children.

“It is a life and death matter,” Catalinotto said, “as well as a matter of education, and especially the rights of kids with disabilities.”

PIST is calling for an independent investigation by the Bushwick community into the cause of the accident.

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat


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