CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Teaching assistant hit by bus ‘may never come home from hospital’

Relatives call for tougher penalties after driver is fined for careless driving and returns to work

05 April, 2018 — By Tom Foot

Saba Mirza

A YOUNG woman who was dragged under a bus at a zebra crossing may never come home from hospital, her family said this week, after the man behind the wheel was fined £770 for careless driving.

Teaching assistant Saba Mirza, 27, who worked at Swiss Cottage School, has been in a hospital bed since the incident in November 2016. Donovan Daley, 55, who was driving the No. 46 bus, was sentenced last week and fined, but has been allowed to return to work.

Ms Mirza’s family have now begun a campaign for more tougher penalties in cases where pedestrians suffer severe injuries. Her sister Rimha, 20, told the New Journal: “Saba spent eight months in a coma.

She cannot walk again. She cannot hear again. Her lungs are collapsed and she is on a breathing machine. The hospital say she cannot come home now, and she may never be able to come home. We are already heartbroken by this.” Ms Mirza is being treated at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington. She was hit on a crossing near Warwick Avenue tube station. “A £770 fine? How does that compensate for a life? As a family, we want people to know about this. It is unjust and unacceptable,” said her sister.

The petition, which is also backed by Ms Mirza’s mother Nicky, describes Saba as “a once bright and kind girl who was a prominent figure in the local community through her endless charity work”. It adds: “She is trapped in a body that she can no longer control.” Mr Daley was also charged with dangerous driving – which can carry a custodial sentence – but pleaded not guilty and was not convicted in court. He has been penalised with nine points on his licence.

Bus company Metroline said: “Following our disciplinary procedures, Mr Daley was suspended whilst we conducted an investigation over a period of three months. This concluded that Mr Daley could safely resume his driving duties and he went on to pass additional driving and behavioural assessments required by our transport safety team for any driver involved in a collision.”

Ms Mirza did charity work for children and worked as a teaching assistant at the special education needs school. She had been recognised with awards for her voluntary work by Camden Council. Speaking at an awards ceremony in the Town Hall in 2015, she said: “Volunteering has changed my life so much. Working with children inspires and motivates me.”

One of five children who live with their mother in a house overlooking the zebra crossing in Warwick Avenue, Ms Mirza was minutes fro

m home when she was hit by the bus. Last November, the family tied yellow ribbons to a tree next to the spot on the one-year anniversary of the incident.

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