RIMBEY — A gravel truck driver involved in a school bus accident that killed a Rimbey girl has been convicted of careless driving and driving at an unreasonable rate of speed.
Peter Oliver Jorgensen, 28, of Bluffton was fined $2,000 for careless driving by Judge John Holmes of Red Deer in Rimbey provincial court Wednesday. There was no driving suspension.
Holmes said an ordinary prudent driver would have started applying his breaks immediately once he saw red lights ahead of him in the fog, let alone a driver of a heavy vehicle. Jorgensen was driving an empty gravel truck towing a trailer.
Jorgensen testified today he didn’t give any thought to the fact that a school bus may have been on Hwy 23 on April 8, 2008, the day he plowed his empty gravel truck into an SUV parked behind the bus and then the bus itself.
Jennifer Noble, 17, of Rimbey, was killed and two other students were injured in the collision April 8, 2008.
Jorgensen told court he knew that school buses made stops on the road since he grew up not far from the spot of the crash and he had taken school buses during his school years.
Jorgensen was driving about 88 km/h in the 100-km/h zone when he spotted a red glow ahead of him.
Jorgensen had held a Class 1 drivers licence for eight years at the time of the incident.
“At the time it never occurred to him that a school bus would be on the road,” said Crown prosecutor Jason Neustaeter.
Neustaeter said Jorgensen’s own testimony indicated he wasn’t paying attention to his speed and he never thought a school bus would be on the road, even though he knew children were picked up between 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.
The accident occurred at 8:14 a.m.