Revealed: The Edinburgh bus driver who averted snow disaster

Charmaine Laurie swerved her bus in the snow to avoid a collision
Charmaine Laurie swerved her bus in the snow to avoid a collision
0
Have your say

A HERO bus driver has told of the heart-stopping moment she skilfully averted tragedy on the Capital’s treacherous roads.

The wheels of Charmaine Laurie’s double-decker skidded on snow as she swerved to avoid a car which lurched into her path.

But the mum-of-two - ferrying 20 passengers included schoolchildren through the blizzard - skilfully controlled the drift to just miss the hatchback and oncoming traffic.

Unbeknown to her at the time, Charmaine’s heroics were captured on a van driver’s dash cam and became an internet sensation when posted online.

READ MORE: WATCH: Edinburgh bus driver swerves car in snow storm

“It happened quite quickly. It’s hard to describe - my heart was in my mouth,” Charmaine, 45, told the Evening News. “I actually thought I was going to hit her.”

Charmaine Laurie

Charmaine Laurie

The drama unfolded on Wednesday afternoon as Charmaine navigated her number 11 through a snowstorm along Frogston Road towards Morton Hall.

“The conditions were really bad,” recalled Charmaine, of Meadowbank. “Visibility was down so I was only doing about 15 or 20mph.

“I came over a hill and all of a sudden there was this car in front of me on my side of the road.”

READ MORE: Lothian Buses suspend services until Friday morning

A screenshot of the dramatic moment a bus averted disaster

A screenshot of the dramatic moment a bus averted disaster

Modest Charmaine said she barely had time to think before instinct and training kicked in.

“I touched the brake and as soon as I did the back end slid out so I took my foot off and just guided it through the space that was there.”

The resulting video has been watched more than 100,000 times - yet Charmaine was oblivious until she sat down later at home with husband Andrew, 43.

“After it happened, I just switched back on to driving and watching the road,” she said. “I totally forgot about it until I came home.

READ MORE: Edinburgh Airport closes as bosses advise passengers not to travel

“My husband was watching it and I told him it was me and he couldn’t believe it - he said well done!”

Amazingly, Charmaine has been a Lothian Buses driver for barely three years, and credits her skills to training.

“We train for all types of conditions,” she said. “You come across all different obstacles, public walking out in front of you - you have to be ready for whatever.”

Charmaine’s passengers at the time took their near miss in their stride too. “Only one commented when she got off and asked if I was ok and told me well done.”

Back at work yesterday, Charmaine was greeted by cheering drivers at the depot.

Were you the driver of the Mini in the video? Get in touch with us at newsen@edinburghnews.com or send us a message on Facebook