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September 22, 2011  |   Comments (1)   |   Post a comment

Hearing for bus drivers in fatal Mo. crash rescheduled


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UNION, Mo. — An arraignment hearing for two bus drivers involved in a double fatal collision more than a year ago has been rescheduled for December.

Katherine Shackelford, 76, and Kelly McEnnis-Mullenix, 29, were to be arraigned Wednesday on a misdemeanor charge of careless and imprudent driving, KSDK reports. The women's attorneys appeared in court Wednesday to reschedule the hearing.

Shackelford was the driver of a bus that struck the rear of a pickup truck, according to Missouri State Highway Patrol reports. The pickup was stopped on a highway due to a previous accident.

Shackelford, who was described in the police report as "inattentive," crashed into the truck, which sent it into an immobile tractor trailer unit that was in front of it.

A second bus driven by McEnnis-Mullenix crashed into Shackelford's bus, KSDK reports. The buses were headed to an amusement park for an annual trip involving members of a school band.

As SBF previously reported, the driver of the pickup truck, Daniel Schatz, was killed in the crash. A passenger on Shackelford's bus, Jessica Brinker, was also killed.

More than four dozen other students on both buses were treated for various injuries.


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This is sad no matter what you say about this preventable accident. There have been many close calls of rear end collisions over many many years that scommercial drivers have experienced and way before cell phones or text messaging came along. It can happen to anyone of us. It drives the point home that you cannot afford to take your attention from the roadway while driving. With the safety training CDL drivers go through to operate commercial vehicles it is ultimately up to the individual driver to operate their vehicle assigned to them in a safe manner at all times. Driver trainers usually has the individual during the initial hire-in process and once trained according to the training criteria that your employer expects new-hires to be trained upon, they are rarely re-trained or updated. They were hired to drive and the employer expects them to follow safety regulations while operating their employer owned equipment. Not only employer's equipment, they should understand that having a Federally required Commercial Drivers License any infractions they get as far as moving violations reflects upon their Commercial Drivers License. So even if you don't classify YOUR own school bus drivers as professional drivers - the law does according to the license they hold and maintain. As for this specific accident - it is too late to go back and un-do or change the outcome. Hard facts should be learned so accidents such as this one can be avoided. I train according to how State Police officers have been trained. You take the figure 8 pattern and scan way ahead down the roadway looking for slowed or stopped traffic then you have a chance to plan way ahead of time on how to react well before you get into a bad traffic situation up ahead of you. It keeps your eyes busy and on the job. You are constantly checking mirrors and looking well ahead as around your vehicle. You really don't have anything else that is more important than driving the vehicle if it is moving. It is that impo

Dan Luttrell    |    Sep 23, 2011 08:20 AM

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