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Bus driver killed two women when his foot slipped onto accelerator

An Ashton bus driver who accidentally killed two women when his foot slipped onto the accelerator has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Baruania Baros, 35, hit Joyce Bacon, 60, and Adele Boylin, as they waited to board a bus in Piccadilly Gardens.

They were hit by the double decker Stagecoach bus driven by Baros as he attempted to help a disabled passenger disembark.

The bus jolted forward and crashed into the women, causing fatal injuries.

He admitted two counts of causing death by careless driving, and was given a suspended prison sentence.

The judge said his pregnant wife would be harmed if Baros was locked up, and ruled that he did not pose a 'risk or danger' to the public.

Baros had been a bus driver for four years when the accident happened on July 10, 2022.

Mr and Mrs Bacon and their friend Ms Boylin, a mother-of-four, were standing waiting to take the bus home when Baros arrived. After pulling over at the bus stop, Baros went to help a passenger on a mobility scooter to leave the bus.

He was attempting to lower the deck of the bus for a disabled passenger when he released the handbrake and the bus moved forward.

He then went to hit the brake, but instead put his foot down on the accelerator, crashing into Mrs Bacon and Ms Boylin as they waited to board the bus. An expert found that Baros had left the bus in gear, rather than in neutral as it should have been.

If it had been left in neutral, the accident would have been avoided, the court heard.

Mrs Bacon died that evening, while Ms Boylin remained in hospital until she died on December 6, 2022. 

Joyce’s husband Ian paid tribute to his wife: “Joyce was a loving mother, sister and wife. Joyce was always busy and she loved to take care of people. She was very generous by nature just like her mother. She won over people instantly with her fabulous smile.

“We will all miss her so much, especially me.

“I would like to thank the emergency services who fought to save Joyce and supported all of us who were involved in this terrible incident.

“Those who had the pleasure of meeting Joyce are devastated by our loss."

The court heard that Baros and his family arrived in the UK as part of a refugee programme, after spending time detained in a refugee camp in Tanzania. He married in 2020 and his wife is due to give birth in the next few weeks.

Baros, 35, of Bentinck Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, was sentenced to 20 months in prison, suspended for two years.

He was ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work, and observe a curfew from 9pm to 6am for four months. Baros was also banned from driving for four years.

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