More than 50 bus passengers, who visited the Pope Francis in Philadelphia, were stranded until some quick thinking by the Darien Police Department last month.
Officers were called to a report of a group of people standing with their suitcases and other items on West Avenue near the Post Road in the downtown area of Darien around 2:30 a.m. on Sept. 28.
Upon arrival, officers located a group of about 60 elderly and middle aged people along with children on the side walk. Police said “most were non-English speaking, which complicated the situation further.”
The people were headed from Philadelphia to Boston after seeing the Pope speak on Sept. 27.
According to the passengers, the bus driver told them that he had been “driving too long" while traveling on Interstate 95. Passengers said he told them that he needed to go to a hotel to sleep.
The passengers were dropped off at the train station in Darien and were advised to take the train to Boston.
During their investigation, police realized that it would be at three more hours until a train would be available to take them.
“This was clearly not a viable option for the cold, hungry and tired passengers,” police Det. Sgt. Jeremiah P. Marron Jr. said in a statement on Monday.
Police determined the first Boston-bound train would be leaving from Stamford at 3:25 a.m.
Police shift supervisors, Lt. Ray Osborne and Sgt. Mark Cirillo, were able to arrange for an 18-seat transport bus to take the passengers to Stamford. After two trips with the bus as well as Officers Patrick Clohessy and Robert Dahm filling their patrol cars with people and luggage.
“Every passenger was transported safely without incident and made the train to Boston,” Marron said.
Police have reached out to the bus company, LCL Transportation of Boston, MA, to learn more about the situation.
“At this point management of the company has indicated that the passengers were presented with alternatives but did not accept those options,” Marron said.
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