McGills driver praised for actions

A coach driver from Dundee has been praised for his ‘lifesaving’ actions to prevent a fatal collision in Aberdeen last month.

Thomas Ferguson of McGills – praised for skill and care

Thomas Ferguson, 51, has been driving for 34 years, having started as a FlixBus driver with McGill’s in August 2022 on their Scottish network. On 1 May, Thomas was driving a FlixBus coach northbound on the A92, a road through Fife, Dundee, Angus, Aberdeenshire, and Aberdeen City.

The coach was heading towards Stonehaven on one its scheduled journeys when a lorry on the other side of the road lost control and began snaking violently. Thomas could see the lorry driver attempting to brake but the vehicle was not stopping. Thomas instantly knew he needed to steer away from the lorry to avoid a serious collision.

The lorry then jack-knifed and swung to cover four lanes of the road, as Thomas quickly manoeuvred the coach to a grass verge to the left of the road. His swift decision meant the lorry avoided hitting the majority of the coach aside from the back window, while all passengers on the coach remained unharmed aside from a couple of scrapes.

Thomas said: “There was no way we would have avoided collision without doing something. I think I had less than a second to decide what to do. Then, seeing the back of the coach afterwards, that half second was probably the difference between life and death.”

Thomas added: “My biggest concern was for my passengers – I immediately went to check on them and thankfully they were all ok. I’ve never seen or done anything like that in over 30 years of driving.”

One passenger, Mary, left a comment to praise the driver Thomas for his quick thinking and proficiency in avoiding any serious injury to myself or fellow passengers: ‘His aftercare and concern for us all and to get us to our destination was above and beyond,’ she said.

Hayley Russell, Team Lead of Operations for FlixBus UK said: “It’s nothing short of a miracle that no one was seriously injured or killed. We are so grateful to have Thomas on our network representing Flixbus – he saved lives thanks to his quick reactions that day.”

Managers at McGill’s have likewise praised Thomas, who were shocked after seeing the incident through the coach’s onboard CCTV.

Colin Napier, Group Service Delivery Director for McGill’s said: “His clear thinking and alert actions saved the day from what would have otherwise been a horrific crash. Watching the heart-stopping footage showed just how brave Thomas was; passengers saw it unfold in front of them and realised that he saved their lives.”

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