DARIEN, Conn. -- With quick thinking and help from Darien Post 53, Darien police officers were able to help 60 people who became stranded in town last week on their way back to Boston after seeing Pope Francis in Philadelphia.
Officers on the overnight shift came across the large group on West Avenue near Post Road at about 2:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 28.
The group included elderly, middle-age and adolescent people who were standing on the sidewalk with suitcases and personal items, police said. Many were non-English speaking.
Officers learned that the group had been on a tour bus traveling from Philadelphia to Boston after seeing Pope Francis during his visit to the United States. While driving through the area on I-95, the bus driver told the group that he had been "driving too long" and that he needed to go to a hotel to go to sleep, according to police.
He let them all off the bus near the Darien train station and told them that they needed to take a train to Boston, police said.
Officers realized that it would be at least three hours until a train was available in Darien, which would be too long to wait for the cold, hungry and tired passengers. They then learned that a Boston-bound Amtrak train would be leaving from Stamford at 3:25 a.m.
Shift supervisors Lt. Ray Osborne and Sgt. Mark Cirillo worked quickly to get an 18-seat transport bus used by Darien EMS Post 53 to the scene.
Officer Michael Delvecchio drove the bus, making two hurried trips from Darien to the Stamford train station while Officers Patrick Clohessy and Robert Dahm filled their patrol cars with people and luggage.
The officers were able to complete the shuttle runs by 3:20 a.m. Every passenger was transported safely without incident and made the train to Boston, police said.
Police have been in contact with the bus company, LCL Transportation based in Boston, in an attempt to find out why the passengers were left stranded. Police said that the company's management indicated that the passengers were presented with alternatives but did not accept those options.
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