Doctors Try to Save Bus Driver’s Arm, Police Look for Sniper
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Incensed by a sniper attack that could cost a bus driver his arm, Greyhound says it won’t bargain with its striking employees until a week has passed without violence against the company.
″No American worth his salt negotiates with terrorists,″ Greyhound chairman and chief executive Fred G. Currey said at a Greyhound terminal Sunday on a visit from Dallas to see the wounded Southeastern Trailways driver.
David E. Bryant, 58, of Cincinnati, was critically wounded by a shot fired through the front window of his bus Saturday night from a pickup truck that pulled alongside, police said. None of the 46 passengers on the Louisville- bound bus was injured.
Southeastern Trailways is carrying passengers on some Greyhound routes under a pooling arrangement that existed before the strike, said a company official.
″It’s an open-and-shut case of terrorism,″ Currey said at a news conference.
Striking drivers said they don’t believe any of their members would shoot another driver.
Doctors at Vanderbilt University Medical Center operated for six hours trying to save Bryant’s left arm but won’t know for several days whether they succeeded, said Wayne Wood.
″If everything goes perfectly, his arm will not need to be amputated,″ Wood said.
Currey was not able to visit Bryant, who was recovering from surgery when the executive arrived.
About 6,300 Greyhound drivers went on strike March 2 over wages and job security. The company has reported 29 shootings of buses, 70 bomb threats and more than 100 other incidents since then.
The company had said it would meet with the union today, but on Friday canceled the session, citing continued violence.
No arrests were made in the shooting.
″Let the facts speak for themselves. Whatever comes out of it, if it ends up being strike-related it is; if it isn’t, it isn’t,″ said Bill Holt, spokesman for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
Joe Semmes, a local union executive, blamed ″demented people.″
″They hear Mr. Currey won’t negotiate while this violence continues and they say, ’Here’s a good chance I can stir up a lot of trouble,‴ he said.
″I can’t say with absolute certainty that it wasn’t one of our drivers, but I don’t believe it was″ because Southeastern Trailways drivers are honoring Greyhound picket lines, said local union spokesman J.R. Green.
″By that, I mean not crossing them. They pull the bus over on the street and a supervisor has to drive it into the terminal and bring it out again,″ Green said.
Holt called the idea of police escorting buses ″premature.″