Home > Ethics, World View > A Bus Full of Heros – Rest In Peace Tim McLean

A Bus Full of Heros – Rest In Peace Tim McLean

Monday, August 4, 2008 1:46 pm Leave a comment Go to comments

There seems to be a lot of criticism leveled against the passengers of the Greybound bus traveling en route from Brandon, Manitoba to Winnipeg last Wednesday night during which a man was brutally murdered and his body defiled. The criticism seems to be that they did not do enough; did not try hard enough to stop Li.  I cannot imagine in my wildest dreams, or perhaps nightmares, how I would have reacted had I been one of the passengers. But I do know one thing: Garnet Caton, the bus driver, and the truck driver who stopped to help them, are heroes. Caton, it seems, acted according to what his instinct dictated in the moment. He and likely several others did what they could only do as a reaction – get off the bus and ensure the safety of all the remaining passengers, including themselves. Then once off the bus, and when the truck driver stopped to help them, a regrouping and reassessment seemed to have been done. Caton, the bus driver, and the truck driver reboarded the bus. By this time, Li was already in the process of decapitating the victim. What else could Caton’s party then do? It was too late for Tim, a horror beyond tragic. The three had to exit and ensure the safety of everyone else, until the RCMP arrived, by securing the door.

There is a tendency to compare this situation with other events where a more positive result may have occured, but even as one blogger says,

…the way that people will behave in these situations is, well, situational. The choices that are possible depend on where you are and what is happening. There’s no overall story of civilization to be told here. In both cases, the victims and witnesses did the best they could in the circumstances in which they found themselves. They all acted remarkably bravely; but the differences in the situations permitted them a different set of split-second decisions. It’s really, I think, as simple as that.”

It would not surprise me if Caton is consumed with guilt that he could have done more and that his thoughts are filled right now with “What ifs” and “If onlys”.   The circumstances and development of this situation, dictated the ethics assocated with this one: Do what can be done to ensure the safety of the rest.

There is not one of us, who, when imagining this event, can say for sure what we would have done in any of those passengers’ places.

Over the coming weeks, Caton may be inclined to share more of what he saw, heard, and did – if he can.

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  1. Missy A
    Tuesday, August 5, 2008 8:23 pm at 20:23

    I think it’s completely inconsiderate for anyone to criticize the reactions of the passengers. Are they failing to realize that these passengers are also victims of this crime? They might now have suffered physical injuries but this will likely impair them emotionally the rest of their lives. It’s natural human instinct to run to safety when they see a 40-year-old psychopath with a bowie knife. My prayers go out to Tim McLean’s family, no one should suffer a death like that. My heart aches for him. If the passengers had done anything different, Tim McLean could have very well been one of many dead that night.

  2. Tuesday, August 5, 2008 9:02 pm at 21:02

    It is somewhat natural to seek a guilty party (or group of people) after any tragedy of such proportions. The reality is that most of us switch into survival mode when confronted with extreme danger. After that, perhaps there is being resigned to failure (or death, as in the emerging comparisons to the 9/11 plane analogies) upon which one may stand up and “go down as a hero, saving others”… but the initial reaction is to save one and those around us who *can* be saved.

    The only true fact in this case is that we can mourn the loss of Tim.

  3. MJ
    Saturday, August 9, 2008 4:46 am at 04:46

    I completely, 100% agree with this. Not one of us can know how we would react in this situation. Its pretty easy to say “someone should have”, without realizing all the details of the situation. I dont actually blame people for feeling that way, but its just not logical. The likelihood that any of them could have *ACTUALLY* saved his life is slim. How many stabs does it take to kill someone? Just. One.

    I agree with Missy, the passengers are victims too, they will have to live with what they saw/heard that day for the rest of their lives (similarly to Titanic and 9-11 survivors). It has traumatized them. Im sure they have survivors guilt. That is why I find it PROFOUNDLY unfair of anyone to criticize them, which no doubt, theyll be aware of. Just to make them feel worse!

  4. NO
    Wednesday, March 4, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57

    1.

    This could be a major injustice to the righteous in the land. Li is supposedly a decent guy, aren’t we all, UNTIL WE KILL SOMEONE! He apparently has schizophrenia and believed that he was destroying a demon therefore had no idea what he was doing. HE KNEW FULL WELL WHAT HE WAS DOING AND IS TRYING TO WRITE IT OFF AS SUCH. How can the courts be accepting the introduction of religious ideas with this man when there’s supposed to be a seperation of church and state? The fact that this trial is being heard by Judge only says just what kind of verdict they want in this. Had they gone with a jury, he’d be in jail for life with no chance of parole for a hundred years, No he’s probably going to a hospital where he’ll play the part and be out in 5 years. I don’t know what happened to the days when a murder was a murder but this guy needs to be held accountable for his actions no matter his condition of psychological state, that’s a cop out!

  5. s.osman
    Thursday, March 5, 2009 3:11 am at 03:11

    Sorry but they nothing but bunch of cowards in my eyes. 1.Poor kid was a sleep,2.How many of you were there? 3.The man didn’t have gun, it was a knife. Last but not least HE WAS NO ONE TO YOU THAT IS WHY YOU DID NOTHING. I bet you any money passengers if that was your kid, brother, father, uncle or ever your friend you wouldn’t be to hurry to save your life………SHAME ON YOU. As for me there is no way I would ever run for cover unless someone have gun and more folks would be in danger. ONE GUY, ONE KNIFE AND HOW MANY PASSENGERS ON BOARD?? Please!! SHAME ON YOU ALL!!!

  6. Saturday, July 30, 2011 8:56 pm at 20:56

    after 3 years this monster is still is still among us ! this is not justice-just a travesty of the canadian judicial system and a waste of time and money. to be blunt murderers should not be tolerated. they deserve the guillotine or a firing squad. this would be merciful to their tortured existance.

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