Sides speak out on non-criminal counts against bus driver


« The school is just saying to forgive? How can you forgive someone who killed a little girl? »




Forgiveness must outweigh anger.

That’s the message being sent by Mountain View Academy, where nine-year-old Kathelynn Occena, killed in an October bus crash, went to school.

Colleen Ryan, vice-principal of Mountain View Academy, responded yesterday to the non-criminal charges against the driver of the bus that veered off Crowchild Trail into a gravel truck, killing the young student.

"Nothing will bring Kathelynn back, no amount of jail time, no amount of grieving and no amount of vengeance," Ryan said.

"As Christian educators, it is not our role to judge others. Rather, we have a moral obligation to teach forgiveness, which is part of the healing process."

Biagio Magliocca, close family friend of the Occena family, said they are outraged at the school’s response and the lack of criminal charges levied against 40-year-old Louise Rogers, the driver of the bus.

"The school is just saying to forgive? How can you forgive someone who killed a little girl?" Magliocca told Metro.

"She (Kathelynn’s mother) is very upset. We are all very disappointed the investigation took five months and didn’t even result in criminal charges. She killed a little girl," he added.

Magliocca said since the tragic accident last October, his own daughter, who attended Mountain View Academy and was friends with Kathelynn, asked to switched schools and hasn’t ridden on a school bus since.

"I think that (Mountain View Academy) are just trying to sweep this under the rug and forget it happened, but we’re not going to let that happen."

After a five-month investigation, police charged Rogers on Tuesday with careless driving, failing to safely remain in the centre lane and unsafely crossing a solid line — all of which only carry a $2,000 fine and/or six months in jail for each charge.

Calgary police traffic investigator Sgt. Doug McIlwraith said there wasn’t enough evidence to support criminal charges, citing "momentary inattention" was the cause of the crash, not dangerous driving.