Antonio Caravaggio, 53, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing bodily harm on Monday, following a bus crash on October 18, 2013 just after 7am.
The former Guelph bus driver (he was fired after the crash) was behind the wheel when he fell asleep and crashed into four vehicles. A 64-year-old man had to be extracted from one of the vehicles, and is still attending physio session for his separated shoulder.
Caravaggio, who stared at the floor as video from his crash was played in court, has a diagnosed sleep disorder known as sleep apnea. He uses a variable positive airway pressure device for treatment.
He’s been with Guelph Transit since 2002. Between 2007 to 2009, he was medically suspended by the Ministry of Transportation.
The morning of the crash, Caravaggio was shuttled in to work. Witnesses on the shuttle say he was sleeping the entire trip. During his morning run, he drifted in his lane multiple times.
The Guelph Mercury recorded HERE that Caravaggio said “I wish I knew I was in that state. It just happened, going down Gordon Street, right out of the blue,” he said. “I don’t know what happened. I drove for 45 minutes beforehand and I was fine, and then just, boom.”
He said he’s experienced an incident like this just once before, at a Christmas party. “I just blacked out and then woke up,” he said. “I believe that’s what happened on the bus.”
If somebody is diagnosed with narcolepsy or sleep apnea, should that exclude them from working a job that requires the operation of a bus, plane, transport truck, or heavy machinery? People swear by CPAP and VPAP machines, but does that completely eliminate the problem?