Lafayette school bus driver cited in train tracks incident

A Lafayette Parish school bus driver is on administrative leave after receiving a citation Monday for driving around lowered railroad crossing guards to cross the tracks in front of an oncoming train with children on board, school and law enforcement officials said Wednesday.

Daniel Gary was cited for disregard of railroad crossing lights, according to a copy of the citation.

A Lafayette Parish sheriff’s deputy witnessed Gary drive through the lowered railroad crossing arms at 3:15 p.m. Monday in the 700 block of Verot School Road, the citation states.

At least 30 elementary school-aged children were on board at the time, Lafayette Parish sheriff Sgt. Clay Carter wrote in the citation. He added that the train was traveling at 35 mph and was about 200 feet from the intersection when Gary crossed the tracks.

Carter was on the opposite side of the tracks and “he could see clearly that the bus driver went around several cars that had already stopped and were waiting for the train to pass,” said Lafayette Parish sheriff Capt. Kip Judice, a Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

A driver with the district since 2004, Gary was placed on administrative leave while the incident is investigated by district staff.