A number of bus drivers refused to do their jobs on Christmas Eve to protest the arrest of a fellow driver for a fatal crash, the New York Post reported last week.
Bus operator Reginald Prescott, 57 driving a bus in East Flatbush when he struck an elderly man walking in a crosswalk about 6pm Tuesday, police sources told the Post.
Jean Bonne-Anne, 78, was trying to cross at the intersection of Farragut Road and New York Avenue when the driver hung a left and struck him. He died at the scene.
“The conditions were poor. It’s a very difficult left turn,” was quoted in the report as saying.
Prescott, who has been on the job for more than seven years with a clean record, remained at the scene. “The operator broke down and cried,” the source the Post. “It really hurt him.”
The devastated driver was treated at a nearby hospital for trauma – but later was taken into police custody, according to the report.
Prescott was charged with failing to yield to a pedestrian, which under a new law that is part of New York’s ‘Vision Zero’ plan, increases the violation to a misdemeanor crime. The law went into effect in the city in August.
The arresting officers admitted to the driver that he didn’t agree with the situation, but that he had to do what he was told.
“This is ridiculous, but we have orders and we have to follow them,” the Post quoted the unnamed officer as saying.
Angry bus drivers and union officials told the paper it was unheard of for a bus driver to be cuffed for an accident.
Drivers at the Jackie Gleason depot in Sunset Park, the Flatbush depot in Marine Park, and the Ulmer Park depot in Bath Beach were so outraged that they didn’t want to hit the roads Wednesday morning, sources told the Post.
Most drivers ended their work stoppage, but union officials told them to be “extra cautious,” according to the Post report.