Masham woman sets up fundraiser for bus driver involved in fatal A61 collision
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Last updated Sep 13, 2023
Katie Sills (pictured) is fundraising for the bus driver involved in the fatal A61 collision.

A woman from Masham has set up a fundraising page for the bus driver seriously injured in a fatal collision on the A61 Ripon Road this month.

Daria Bartienieva, 35, her son, Ihor Bartienieva, aged 6, and Daria’s step-daughter, Anastasiia Bartienieva, 15, died after a three-vehicle crash that involved a double decker 36 bus on the road near South Stainley on September 3.

It was the second fatal collision on the road on consecutive weekends.

Katie Sills, 23, told the Stray Ferret she had followed the fundraiser for 15-year-old Liza Bartienieva, who was orphaned following the accident.

It has so far raised more than £41,000 and Ms Sills decided to launch a similar appeal for the driver of the 36 bus known as ‘Bob’ because she had not seen anything being done on his behalf.

Ms Sills said she does not know Bob but wanted to help in any capacity she could:

“I just thought to myself ‘he’s a man with a family, bills and probably rent or a mortgage’.

“I’m not entirely sure what the money will be used for, but I imagine just everyday living if he’s not working.

“What he saw would’ve been absolutely horrendous and now he’s left with physical and mental trauma.”

After setting up the GoFundMe page on Sunday, which has now raised over £2,000, a friend of the bus driver reached out to Ms Sills.

“His friend said he’d seen my post about the fundraiser and that the man does not have social media, so he passed on my phone number and he text me not long after.”

The man told Ms Sills “I cannot thank you enough for your kindness and consideration”. She said:

“He told me in the text that the only reason he was working that Sunday was so he could take a day off to drive his son to university the following week.

“He also said he’d always be indebted to me.”

The initial target was £1,000 but now that has been surpassed, Ms Sills said she’d like to keep the page up to raise as much as she can.

A fun day will also be held at Ripon Bowling Club this Sunday to continue raising money for those affected by the collision – including the bus driver and Liza.

It will include cake stalls, a raffle, a live DJ and a magician.

The event will run from 1pm to 5pm.

It is free to attend but asks people to donate what they can.


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