Valley News – Search for missing school bus driver Sharon empty

Posted: 11/05/2021 22:14:05 PM

Modified: 11/05/2021 22:14:15 PM

WEST HARTFORD – A K-9 search party, a research boat, aerial drones equipped with cameras and a plane scoured the area around the school bus depot and other places near the White River on Friday, but no ‘have found no new information on a missing Sharon man, Hartford police said.

Randy Koloski, 68, a bus driver with Student Transportation of Vermont, was reported missing on Monday after he failed to report for work at the bus company depot on Route 14 in West Hartford. He was last seen outside his home by a neighbor on Sunday afternoon, though his vehicle was found parked at his job site, unlocked with a cell phone and checkbook inside.

“We will regroup and continue our search and hopefully move forward,” Hartford Deputy Police Chief Brad Vail said. “Again, we ask anyone with information to contact us.”

Vail said Friday’s search involved a team from the New England K9 Search and Rescue volunteer group, drones operated by Vermont State Police, a boat from the Service’s Fast Water Rescue Team Hartford fire and a fixed-wing border patrol plane dispatched from Plattsburgh, NY, to scan the White River and Connecticut River.

Police teams and volunteers visited the area around Koloski’s residence on Farm Field Lane off of Highway 14 in Sharon; areas along the White River near the Student Transportation of Vermont bus facility in West Hartford; and the vacant home of a Koloski relative on Old River Road in Hartford, Vail said.

New England K9 Search and Rescue, with a team of four trained ‘scent dogs’, showed up at the bus depot at 9 a.m., said Donna Larson, a founding member of the organization that helps police State of Vermont and New Hampshire Fish and Research by Department of the Game. She estimated that they excavated about 100 acres around the site of the bus depot.

“Nothing was found,” Larson said, said she was packing and a convoy of New England K9 vehicles was leaving the site.

Koloski was last seen by a neighbor on Farm Field Lane on Sunday talking with another man. The neighbor, Debra Ackley, told the Valley News that she heard Koloski say to the man, whose identity is unknown, “see you tomorrow” before the man leaves in the van.

But Ackley couldn’t remember if Koloski’s car was there at the time.

Vail said investigators had not yet been able to determine whether Koloski had driven his vehicle to his employer’s bus depot, located 6.2 miles south on Route 14 of Koloski’s residence.

“Student Transportation of Vermont remains committed to supporting local law enforcement in their ongoing research efforts,” said Brian Hemenway, general manager of the bus company, in an emailed statement. “Our hearts are always with Randy’s family and colleagues and hope that he will return home safe and sound.”

The company provides services to schools in Hanover and Norwich, the South East Windsor Supervisory Union and Lyme School District, and Koloski Drive for all three.

Larson, a founding member of New England K9 Search and Rescue, said she had been involved in a lot of searches over the years, but described Koloski’s disappearance as puzzling.

“It’s a strange case,” Larson said in the parking lot of Student Transportation of Vermont after completing the nearly four-hour search. “It’s a great mystery. He just left.

Contact John Lippman at [email protected]

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