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Bus driver pleads not guilty in boy's death

By: Amy Crofts

  |  Posted: Monday, Jan 27, 2014 02:26 pm

Thomas Wedman
Thomas Wedman
FILE PHOTO/supplied

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The driver of the school bus that killed a six-year-old St. Albert boy in September has pleaded not guilty to his charges.

Joseph Allen of Edmonton was charged with driving carelessly and failing to yield to a pedestrian in November last year.

Allen was the driver of the school bus that struck and killed Thomas Wedman, a Grade 2 student at École Marie Poburan on Sept. 27. Wedman was crossing the street as the bus made a right-hand turn onto Woodlands Road from Sir Winston Churchill Avenue.

Jeff Wedman, Thomas' father, said the family is following the legal proceedings but they are trying not to become emotionally invested in the outcome.

"The not guilty plea is somewhat disappointing as it prolongs the length of time that this chapter of dealing with Thomas' death remains open," wrote Jeff in a email to the Gazette. "However, the legal process is what it is and we respect that it takes time to work its way through any incident."

The school bus was contracted by St. Albert Public Schools and was heading to Keenooshayo Elementary School. It was operated by First Student Canada.

Allen has since been suspended pending an internal investigation.

Robert Muller, a lawyer with the law firm McLennan Ross in Edmonton, appeared on Allen's behalf in St. Albert court Monday.

Allen's trial begins on June 24 in St. Albert.

"Regardless of whatever the court decides, it won't do anything to fill the void caused by Thomas' absence in our lives," added Jeff. "We are still very much in the beginning stages of learning to live our lives without him by our side."


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