AUBURN — The man behind the wheel of a Worcester Regional Transit Authority bus that smashed through a house Monday evening was on his first day in service.
The bus was traveling 38 mph in a 30 mph zone moments before the crash.
Around 5 p.m. Monday, the bus being driven by Francis Artey, 27, of 169 Belmont St., Worcester, was heading west on Swanson Road, toward the Auburn Mall, when it left the road, cut across a yard at the corner of Homestead Avenue and smashed into a house, Police Chief Andrew J. Sluckis Jr. said.
Chief Sluckis said it appeared the brakes were not applied; he said the driver may have suffered some sort of medical problem before the crash, or there may have been a mechanical problem with the brakes. The crash remains under investigation.
John Carney, general manager of RTA Transit Services, said Mr. Artey went through a rigorous eight-week training program before "driving in service" for the first time on Monday.
"He had been driving that bus in training, significant training, group training, for over three weeks. Prior to that, he was driving the bus in traffic, in training, prior to testing," Mr. Carney said. "No, it's not the first day. It's the first day in service. We don't put someone in service until they've proven themselves to us they know what they're doing."