By Neil H. Dempsey
---- — MARBLEHEAD — Police blame a bus driver for causing the traffic jam on Village Street that affected scores of motorists on Thursday afternoon.
Officers received word of the tie-up shortly after noon, when one caller reported that Village Street was “gridlocked,” another that it was a “traffic nightmare” and a third that she hadn’t moved in 20 minutes, according to the incident log.
A man then reported that a bus parked on Village Street “refuses to move and is waiting to pick up kids and no one can get by,” and the Water Department reported that they’d been sitting in traffic for 20 minutes without moving.
“Said they’ve never seen anything like this,” police wrote.
Another caller said, “we need to send someone now and have them on either end because someone is going to get really, really hurt,” police wrote, and another said that a man had just abandoned his truck in the middle of the road.
Police received a complaint from a woman next: “She said the school needs to coordinate with the police before they release 1,000 kids into the street at the same time with no sidewalks for the kids to walk on,” police wrote. “She was advised to contact the DPW regarding the sidewalks and the superintendent regarding the school release.”
An officer determined that the problem was Healey bus #81, which had refused to move. He got the woman driving it to take it elsewhere.
“Now that the bus had been cleared, traffic is returning to normal,” police wrote later.
An officer contacted Healey to find out who had been operating the bus, then contacted the woman regarding the incident.
“Says she is very comfortable driving the bus,” wrote police.
Police said a manager at Healey would be contacted “about what has transpired today.”