Brain-Injured Man Mistreated on Bus: Family

Monday, August 30, 2010
CBC news

David Wilcox, 52, was in a car accident 25 years ago that left him with
brain damage and slurred speech. (CBC) The family of a Nova Scotia man with
brain damage plans to file a complaint after he said he was humiliated by an
Acadian Lines bus driver on Saturday.

David Wilcox, 52, was in a serious car accident 25 years ago that left him
with brain damage and slurred speech.

After a conversation with the driver of a bus he boarded in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia (N.S.), on Saturday, Wilcox said he was ordered to the back.

He said the driver then apologized to other passengers, telling them she usually kicks drunks off the bus. When Wilcox tried to explain he was not
drunk, no one wanted to listen, he said.

“The bus driver made me feel like an idiot,” Wilcox said. “She made me feel like there’s no sense in even living. And no one else even wanted to hear
anything from me.”

Wilcox’s brother, Stephen, said this isn’t the first time something like this has happened.

Over the years, he said, his brother has been locked up overnight by the RCMP in Kentville, N.S., ordered to take numerous breathalyzer tests even
though he doesn’t drink, and had his car impounded at Casino Nova Scotia.

“Instead of people taking the time to realize, ‘Hey, he’s not drinking, that’s his speech impairment,’ they just jump to conclusions and handle it
the way that they shouldn’t.”

A Halifax doctor who works with brain-injured patients said she agrees that more awareness is needed.

“We should be talking to police officers and teachers and health-care workers and anybody we can get to listen,” said Dr. Bev Butler. “Because at
this point there are somewhere between 30,000 and 70,000 people in Nova
Scotia alone living with brain injury, so you’re bound to – at some point –
run across someone.”

Acadian bus lines said any complaint will be investigated. If there are grounds for discipline, the matter will be handled internally, the company

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