‘Bus driver didn’t mean to kill my wife and friend

The husband of a woman killed by a ‘careless’ bus driver claimed in court the ‘main responsibility’ lies with his former employers Stagecoach. Ian Bacon claimed – in front of a judge – bus drivers are not given enough training and said more consideration should be given to the safety of passengers.

Stagecoach told the Manchester Evening News drivers undergo ‘extensive training’ and said safety is the firm’s ‘number one priority’. Mr Bacon spoke out at Manchester Crown Court as Baruania Baros, a former Stagecoach driver, was prosecuted for killing his wife Joyce Bacon, 60, and their friend Adele Boylin, 55, during a ‘tragic accident’ in Manchester city centre.

Baros, 35, avoided jail after a judge heard that he had a clean driving record and no previous criminal convictions. Mr Bacon told Manchester Crown Court: “Would it benefit Mr Baros going to prison?

READ MORE: Bus driver who killed two women in ‘tragic accident’ after mistakenly pressing accelerator avoids jail

“In my opinion, I’m not so sure. I believe that the main responsibility lies with Stagecoach for their lack of detailed training and not considering the safety of passengers waiting to light the bus.”

Baros, a bus driver with four years experience, was helping a disabled passenger leave the bus when he mistakenly pressed the accelerator instead of the brake pedal, at about 9.20pm on July 10, 2022. The bus jolted forward and crashed into the women, causing fatal injuries.

Mr Bacon continued: “The driver of the bus clearly had no intention of killing my wife and our friend. I believe that the culpability lies with Stagecoach.” He claimed that drivers are given ‘woefully little additional training’ following initial training.

A spokesperson for Stagecoach Manchester said: “All our drivers go through extensive training with safety always our number one priority. Our thoughts continue to go out to the families and loved ones of Mrs Bacon and Ms Boylin.”

Mr Bacon also said he is calling on bus companies to learn from the circumstances of the tragedy. The court heard that Baros had to park at the bus stop at an angle, because another bus had been in front of him.

A judge ruled that had the bus not been parked at an angle, ‘in all likelihood the accident would not have happened’. Mr Bacon, who was with his wife at the time of the tragedy and suffered minor injuries, called on bus drivers to be trained to ensure the wheels are pointing away from the bus stop in future.

Bus driver Baruania Baros

“As a result of the tragic loss of my beloved wife and our friend Adele I want the bus companies, not only Stagecoach, to change their policies at bus shelters,” he added. “This could prevent another family from losing a loved one.”

Baros, 35, of Bentinck Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, was sentenced to 20 months in prison, suspended for two years. He was ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work, and observe a curfew from 9pm to 6am for four months. Baros was also banned from driving for four years.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by careless driving.