Child on thin river ice ‘saved from something horrible’ after bus driver intervenes

The site where letter writer Barbara Mockett of Winchester called a child off the ice in Chesterville this morning (near the fish statue beside the library building and the steps that go up to the Main Street bridge. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

The site where letter writer Barbara Mockett of Winchester prompted a child off the ice in Chesterville this morning (beside the library building and the steps going up to the Main Street bridge). Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

The Editor:

I got a good scare this morning as a school bus driver, but this would have scared a regular driver as well except I was high enough to see it happen.

I’m in Chesterville driving past the pharmacy heading to St. Mary’s Catholic School. It’s a busy time with families, students walkers etc. I look to my right, down on the river that is frozen only because of the last two days [of cold weather]. VERY THIN ICE. I see a child on the ice far enough away from the edge of the river, her sister standing on the edge contemplating the same thing.

I totally freaked, nailed my bus horn over and over until they clued in it was for them.

When I get to the stairs where it leads to the river they are at the top of the stairs. I put on my red flashing bus lights on, open my bus door, stopping traffic. Call both of them to the bus, giving them the biggest lecture I could. I cried after I left, very scary, but relieved that my eyes were turned towards them at that moment.

I believe this was a divine appointed moment where my eyes were specifically turned towards them, where a child’s life was saved from something horrible.

Don’t be afraid to respond to something you see that you know is dangerous or not good — you could save a life, and a family from sadness.

Parents who lives near this river or others where children are walking alone, please remind them the ice is WAY TOO THIN TO WALK ON – STAY AWAY.

Barbara Mockett


Editor’s note: It was from her perch in the bus driver’s seat on the opposite side of the river, the letter writer tells NVN, that she happened to see the child across the way, on the ice, near the steps at the library building.

South Nation Conservation says that ice should be clear blue in colour and least 15 to 20 centimetres thick before going onto it. The watershed authority also encourages parents to explain the dangers of ice to their children, and that they should should never go onto ice alone or follow friends or pets onto potentially dangerous ice. And once ice is thick enough to use, SNC recommends that children be accompanied by their parents, wear lifejackets and bring safety equipment including ice picks and a cell phone. 


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