'Good highway driving' - Lynx bus driver's records release after flipping bus on I-4

Records show driver hired in April, had two crashes in June

Lynx safety memo sent to drivers

ORLANDO, Fla. – Lynx officials released dozens of documents Tuesday, a day after a bus driven by Steven Silva flipped on I-4 westbound and Orange Blossom Trail.

Included in those records were Silva's employment application in March, along with his resume that showed he worked for the company Transdev since 2016 and was a bus operator at both Walt Disney World and the University of Central Florida.

"During his time here, Mr. Silva had an exemplary attendance, safety and service record. As a bus operator he was a key employee whose great service earned him a promotion to our Auxiliary Supervisor potion," wrote a Transdev human resources administrator in a recommendation letter. 

The records show Silva was hired April 1 and went through eight weeks of training. Several of those weeks included driving tests with daily evaluations. Many of them had few to no issues, with trainers writing in those reports "safe driving" and "good highway driving". 

However, those same records show in June, Silva was involved in two minor crashes. The first happening June 5 when his bus's mirror hit another bus's mirror. The second happened just weeks later on June 24.

"Operator Steven Silva made a curbside contact with a stopped vehicle while in traffic," the records read.

Silva was written up for both. 

As of Tuesday, Lynx said Silva was still employed but was not back on the road. In a preliminary report released after the crash Monday, Lynx said the crash happened after there was a lane shift on I-4 and Silva was going a few miles an hour over the speed limit.

"Due to the shift in the road lanes, he slightly entered the left lane and attempted to reestablish his position. This resulted in him overcorrecting his turn," the report said. "The road conditions were wet due to rain. The road surface changed from asphalt to a concrete type surface right before the accident. There were four lanes total and the operator was traveling in the third lane from the inside barrier. The speed limit was 50 mph and he was traveling between 52 and 56 mph."

On Tuesday, Lynx sent a safety memo to all bus drivers reminding them of its policy in regards to driving on wet or slippery roads and what to remember when it comes to "overcorrecting."

"Reduce speed and use extra caution while driving on curved roads," the memo said.

Drivers Tuesday sympathized with Silva saying it could be difficult to navigate that section of I-4 right at Orange Blossom Trail.

"It's a really hard pull to the right or hard pull to the left," said Kendra Harris who drives that section of I-4 nearly every day. "Just trying to get through there it's really not safe at all its way too sharp for an interstate."

News 6 asked both the Florida Department of Transportation and SGL Constructors, the contractors in charge of the I-4 Ultimate project if they were looking at any improvements to that section following the crash. FDOT spokesperson Miriam Ali responded with this statement: "Safety is a top priority for the department. The FDOT urges all drivers to stay alert and use caution while driving through or near construction zones. This includes obeying the speed limit signs and following all rules of the road."

About the Author: