Teenage bus driver helps woman and kids flee domestic abuser in Swindon

Kyle Caswell, 18, has been praised for helping a woman and her children flee an abusive man while driving his bus route Credit: Callum Whatsize

An 18-year-old bus driver has been praised after he helped a woman and her three children flee an abusive man in Swindon.

Kyle Caswell was just about to finish his round when he saw the woman and her children run over to his bus.

After letting them on and completing the route, Kyle discovered the family were trying to flee an "ex-boyfriend who was quite violent".

After being told the ex-partner was still in the area, Kyle called his supervisor and received permission to go off-route to take the woman to safety.

'Visibly upset'

Kyle said: "I was just about to finish my duty and I was up at the Asda waiting my time, and I see her coming over [with her] children, coming over quite quickly, but I thought, 'oh, you know, she's gonna miss her bus', so I waited.

"But when she got on it actually transpired she was actually trying to get away from her ex-boyfriend who was quite violent and she was visibly upset," he added.

Kyle said he carried on the rest of the route "as normal" but when he got to the end he became concerned as he was not driving back across Swindon, but finishing near to where the family got on.

"So, I got out of the cab and spoke to her for two minutes, just to try and get a picture of what happened. She told me her ex-boyfriend was in the area and he was trying to get to her and her children.

"So, I rang my supervisor after that and basically said, 'Look, I've got a lady and her three children here, they're in danger because of a violent ex-boyfriend. Can I take her out of service to where she needs to go because I'm not going any further?'"

Kyle was then given the "go-ahead", dropping the family off at a relative's home.

'Just doing my job'

The 18-year-old, who has only been working as a driver for six months, has now been praised by Swindon Bus Company.

Paul Coyne, Swindon’s Bus Company operations manager, said: “We are all very proud of Kyle. He acted with maturity and humility. At Swindon’s Bus Company, we know we have excellent drivers, but we also look for the ability to provide great customer service when we recruit new colleagues. 

“Kyle is the epitome of that, and he is very worthy of the praise he has received.”

But Kyle is very humble about his actions. "I was just doing my job really, I think. If I can keep people safe and make sure they aren't in any danger, then that's my job done, really," he said.

"But I've been praised by my MP, my company," he added.

"Funnily enough, I've had people message me on Facebook, and I don't know them, but they've messaged me saying 'thank you so much' and 'I've been in this place myself' and 'people like you give us some faith back in humanity' and stuff."

'If you are in danger, we will try and help you'

Asked what someone should do if they find themselves in a similar position to the women and her three children, Kyle said people should trust bus drivers to help them out.

"To be honest, just tell the driver that you're in danger, and they will try and help you as much as they can.

"You shouldn't be scared of them, I don't think, because we do have a duty to our passengers to make sure they are safe so if you are in any danger, just say something, and we will try and help you as best as we can."

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