Stan Riley, 55, of Kearns, had just dropped off students at Silvercrest Elementary in Herriman. He was on his way to pick up students from the Jordan Applied Technology Center to drop them off at Riverton High School. It was Riley’s final run of the day.
According to West Jordan Police Officer Dan Roberts, Riley crashed into a Rio Tinto industrial semi that ran a red light on Old Bingham Highway at the intersection of Mountain View Corridor.
The impact sent Riley’s bus swerving into a dump truck stopped at the intersection. He died at the scene before paramedics could fly him to a hospital.
The man driving the Rio Tinto industrial semi told police his brakes failed, which caused him to run the red light. Roberts said there were no skid marks on the street. He said it is too soon to determine if a citation will be filed until a full investigation is done to determine if there was any mechanical failure.
Herb Jensen, Director of Transportation for the Jordan School District, said what started as a normal day quickly turned ugly.
“Stan was one of those bus drivers that everybody loved including me,” Jensen said.
Jensen described Riley as a jolly man who had a good attitude and loved to joke around. He said Riley went out of his way to talk to staff at the schools on his route and interact with students.
“He loved the kids loved him,” Jensen said. “He would often come and tell us the stories of the kids on his bus. He lived for the kids. He loved the students.”
Jensen said the transportation department employees nearly 300 people and they are all very close.
“We are a family and it’s hard to lose one in our family,” he added.
Jordan School District Superintendent Patrice Johnson said in a statement, “Our loss is beyond words. 55-year-old Stan Riley was a bus driver who took great pride in his job and loved the students he served. He was loved and respected in return by fellow drivers and district employees. Stan was an 11 year employee of Jordan School District. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Stan’s family in this very difficult time.”
Grief counselors will be available for transportation employees on Monday, including at Silvercrest Elementary in Herriman, Riverton High School and the JATC for students.