Popular teacher struck by bus

A popular Catholic primary school teacher was killed on Brisbane's southside yesterday when she was struck by a school bus only a short distance from where she taught.

The Courier Mail reports that Elizabeth McCall was a teacher at St Peter's Catholic Primary School at Rochedale, on Brisbane's southside. Mrs McCall was crossing the intersection of Rochedale and Underwood roads, about 200 metres from the gates of St Peter's when a Logan City bus hit her.

It is believed she crossed with a green walk signal but the bus was also turning with a green arrow. She died at the scene.

About 30 students from Springwood and Rochedale high schools, who were aboard the bus, were offered counselling. No students were injured.

A company spokeswoman said the experienced driver, who had been with the company for 18 months, had undergone counselling and would take time off work.

"We have had LifeLine counsellors down. The staff are a tight-knit group and it has been devastating. We have been in business for 30 years and that is the first fatality we have been involved in," she said.

Principal Peter Kerrins said he thought briefly of Mrs McCall, who walked to work, after he heard a pedestrian had been killed near the school.

"She normally comes from the other way, the other side of the road, but she dropped the car in at a service station for a service. Now we are left with the business of picking up the pieces," he said.

"She really bonded with the kids and she was a very gentle person. It is hard to comprehend. The loss is traumatic for staff, students and the entire faith community," a grief-stricken Mr Kerrins said.

"We are pulling together at this time, and our heart goes out to her family and those close to such a wonderful teacher and colleague. She was a very caring, very warm mother who had a wonderful attitude. Her attributes endeared her to the community and she will be sadly missed."

He said Mrs McCall had a marked effect on all she taught and will be remembered for a sense of social justice, as a champion of people's rights and as a musical person who had a wonderful gift for celebration.

Officers from the Accident Investigation Squad are investigating the incident. South East Region Police Inspector Gerry Walton said as both pedestrians and motorists shared the road it was important each was aware of when the other was moving or stopped.

Teacher struck by bus (The Courier Mail 28/4/06)

Teacher killed by school bus (Sunday Times/Australian Associated Press 27/4/06)

28 Apr 2006