LAKEWOOD, N.J. — A FedEx truck driver and a school bus driver have reportedly been fired — and the truck driver faces criminal charges — for a confrontation between the two large vehicles on the road last month.
On Sept. 14, motorist Steve O’Connor captured cell phone video of a school bus crossing double yellow lines in the median to try to pass a FedEx truck. The video shows the truck veer toward the bus, which then moves into the opposite lane of the road as it passes the truck. Shortly after the bus moves back to the right side of the road ahead of the truck, a car comes down the road in the opposite direction.
The Lakewood Police Department investigated the incident. Police spokesman Detective Lt. Gregory Staffordsmith said in a press release that the video showed that the FedEx truck driver, 48-year-old Sigmund Winiavski, “attempted to force a school bus … off the road as [the bus driver] illegally tried to pass him.”
Police said that Morris Wilder, 68, was driving the school bus, which is operated by Jay’s Bus Service. A woman who answered the phone at Jay’s Bus Service told the Brick Patch that there were no students on the bus at the time of the incident.
Local media outlets have reported that both the school bus driver and the FedEx truck driver have been fired by their employers.
Also, both drivers received “numerous motor vehicle summonses for their respective parts in the incident,” according to the Lakewood Police Department.
Staffordsmith, the police spokesman, said that even though there was no contact or physical injuries, Winiavski’s actions constituted simple assault.
“However, because Mr. Wilder was clearly identifiable as being engaged in the performance of his duties as a school bus driver, New Jersey law dictates that the action rises to the level of an aggravated assault,” Staffordsmith said.
O’Connor, the motorist who witnessed the incident, told NJ.com that before he shot the video, he had been driving behind the school bus for at least a mile and had watched it drive erratically, apparently trying to see around the FedEx truck, which then slowed down to about 18 mph. O’Connor then began recording with his cell phone, shortly before the bus made its move around the truck.
Watch O’Connor’s video, which has been viewed more than 100,000 times on YouTube: