Accidents happen, but it is how people handle accidents that matter. On March 12, one bus driver in Haiti proved he does handle accidents very well.
Early Sunday morning, a bus driver, employed by Blue Sky Logistics, fled a hit-and-run accident scene and drove into large crowds in Haiti. The incident killed at least 38 people and injured approximately 12 more. The driver was intended to transport his passengers from Cap Haitien to Port Au Prince.
According to local authorities, the bus driver originally hit two people at a bus stop near the city Gonaives. Rather than staying to help the two victims, one of whom he killed, the driver drove away. When he arrived at the city Mapou, about three miles away, he ran into three rara parades.
Generally, the parades occur close to Easter. During the parades, music groups play traditional Haitian instruments. Many locals join in with the musicians, and, usually, most locals avoid traffic rules while the parades are happening.
After the driver drove into the large crowds, many locals started throwing rocks at the bus and other vehicles. The additional violence injured many other people in the process.
All in all, the bus driver killed 34 people on the scene. Additionally, four people later died after receiving critical injuries. The cause of the original accident is still unknown.
One witness of the incident at the parade said people could see missing arms, a trail of blood, and protruding organs.
“You could hear people crying and calling for help,” he said. “But I could not make a difference on who is alive and who is not.”
Fred Henry, the local deputy representative, said the incident happened around 4 a.m. Sunday. Afterward, police escorted the driver and passengers to a local station. However, authorities released all of those involved, including the driver. Since their release, the bus driver fled the area.
“Usually, the drivers involved in such accidents don’t stop,” Henry said. “They are afraid they might be killed.”
Local authorities are still investigating the situation and searching for the driver. Haiti’s President expressed his condolences for the victims and said the country will continue to look for answers regarding the situation.