Bus driver jailed for driving vehicle into flood waters

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A former Stephensons of Easingwold school bus driver who drove a bus into flood water has been jailed for dangerous driving, the York Press reported.

Graham Stanley Jones, 53, was driving 23 children to Easingwold School on January 5, 2016, when his vehicle became stuck in waist-high floodwater caused by the Christmas flooding.

Jones, who admitted careless driving but pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving, was convicted of the more serious offence by a jury. He was immediately sentenced to 12 months in prison, and a three-year driving ban.

He had previously served a two-year driving ban for unrelated drink driving.

A North Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “The outcome of this case reflects the gravity of the situation, the potential consequences, and how serious the court took this incident.

“It should send a clear warning to drivers not to ignore road closure signs that are put in place to protect people, and to heed the dangers of driving through flood water.”

The Recorder of York Paul Batty QC said Jones would also have to take an extended driving test before he could get behind the wheel again in the future.

Sentencing Jones, Judge Batty, commented: “Having managed to get through the first extensive area of flooded road, you then came upon the second, much more extensive area of flooded road.

“It was basically an expanse of water as far as the eye could see. There was absolutely no indication whatsoever of the depth of the water. Notwithstanding that, you took the decision, goodness knows why, to drive through it. Of course, the inevitable happened.”

The judge added that the driver had shown ‘vaunted arrogance’ in his trial, and continued: “You certainly had no comprehension of the risk you put those children in and the potential consequences that could have been great because of your dangerous, reckless act.

“This was, in my view, is an extremely bad case of dangerous driving.”