Charleroi school bus driver cited after railroad crossing incident
A Charleroi Area school bus driver was cited after his bus allegedly was struck by a gate at this railroad crossing in Stockdale. Mark J. Gazi, a former police officer, is accused of failing to stop at the crossing.
Mike Jones / Observer-Reporter
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Police cited a Charleroi Area school bus driver after his vehicle was struck by a railroad crossing gate in Stockdale earlier this month while carrying more than a dozen students to school.
Mark J. Gazi, a former police officer, was cited for careless driving and failure to stop at a railroad crossing after driving over the rails shortly before 8:30 a.m. Oct. 15 at Locust and Railroad streets.
RESA Regional police, which patrols Roscoe, Elco, Stockdale and Allenport, filed the citations against Gazi, 57, of 207 Third Ave., Roscoe, after investigating the incident. State law requires all school buses, even if they are unoccupied, to stop at railroad crossings regardless if the gate’s lights are flashing.
Charleroi Area Superintendent Brad Ferko said none of the 18 students on board were injured and the bus sustained “just a dent” in the rear roof area. He said Gazi immediately informed district officials of the incident and continued his route before dropping the students off at school.
“We are concerned,” Ferko said. “There are a variety of stories we’re hearing. We heard from the driver and we heard from police.”
The school district conducted an internal investigation, Ferko said, although he could not comment on whether action was taken against the driver.
“We’re going through the process,” Ferko said. “We conducted our investigation and it’s a personnel matter.”
Gazi, who spent nearly two decades working as a California University of Pennsylvania police officer, did not return a phone message seeking comment on the incident. However, Ferko said Gazi told school officials that he “never saw a train.”
RESA Regional police could not be reached for comment to discuss the investigation.