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Metrobus driver receives national heroism award

A driver with the St. John’s Transportation Commission has been recognized for the role he played in saving the life of a young woman who was hit by a vehicle when attempting to cross Water Street in St. John’s in August.

Metrobus driver Max Benson received a National Heroism Award this morning in a ceremony held during the Canadian Urban Transportation Association’s annual conference in Montreal.

A news release from Metrobus says, to be considered for the award, a person within the public transit industry must perform a heroic act; one in which no full measure of responsibility exists between the award recipient and the endangered party, and the recipient must go above and beyond the call of duty.

Benson had been employed with Metrobus for less than three years on the night of Aug. 1 when he witnessed a young woman being struck by an eastbound van on Water Street.

The victim came to rest beneath the tailpipe of a car, that had recently been parked about 10 feet in front of Benson’s bus. Benson immediately radioed to a Transit Supervisor to call 911 before grabbing the on-board first aid kit and exiting the bus to tend to the victim.

The news release goes on to say the victim lay unconscious with a very weak pulse from a head wound when Benson arrived at her side; he immediately compressed the wound and the victim’s pulse became stronger.

Benson then used his other hand to protect the victim’s face from coming into contact with the hot muffler, causing him to suffer second-degree burns on the back of his hand.

When the police, fire trucks and ambulance arrived, they immediately removed the young woman from the scene and transported her to the hospital.

“It’s just an incredible story of heroism,” says Metrobus general manager, Judy Powell. “We’re all proud of Max and we’re thrilled that the Canadian Urban Transportation Association has recognized what Max did on that night in August.”

The St. John’s Transportation Commission, operating as Metrobus, has been providing public transit services in St. John’s, NL, since 1958. Metrobus operates 22 fixed-transit routes, four of which are wheelchair accessible, and services more than three million rides annually.

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