VTA driver praised for quick actions after bus attacked in Morgan Hill

A driver with the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority is being praised for his quick thinking after his bus was nearly rammed head on by an SUV, then attacked with pruning shears.

It happened Thursday on Hale Avenue in Morgan Hill.

"All of a sudden he sees an SUV in his lane, coming toward him," said the transit agency's spokesperson Stacey Hendler Ross.

The bus driver slammed on the brakes trying to avoid a collision, but there was no shoulder and nowhere to pull off.

"The driver oncoming stopped just inches away from the front of the bus, got out of the bus, and proceeded with some pruning shears to smash the bus windshield and the side mirrors and then proceeded to smash his own car," said Hendler Ross.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office responded and arrested the driver who was identified as Dino Oliveira.


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VTA praised the quick work of the driver, who locked down the bus and got help fast.

"It was a very scary situation which our VTA bus driver handled beautifully," said Hendler Ross.

Operators are trained for situations like Thursday's incident. But VTA says more needs to be done to help them.

They want the public to report crimes through their VTA alerts app.

The transit agency has also added signage to all its buses and trains, warning that assaults on public transit mean jail time and fines.

Union officials would like to take it even further.

"I said all along if we don't have any real legislation behind what that signage says, the bad actors in our community are going to see it's really just a paper tiger," says John Courtney, President of ATU Local 265.

Leaders with the transit union are pushing for legislation that would ban bad actors from buses. They say these kinds of assaults happen all too often.

"When you start attacking and come after them and don't protect them, we have a problem," Courtney says.

A motive for the incident has not been revealed.