CARROLLTON, Ga. — Carroll County School System officials have acknowledged that the school bus driver who was involved in last week’s bus crash that killed 17-year-old Rashawn Walker did not have the necessary credentials to operate a school bus.
District Superintendent Scott Cowart told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that trainee driver Kenneth Herringdine lacked the state certification needed to drive a bus with students on board, and that the school system misinterpreted the regulations imposed by the state Department of Driver Services.
The state requires school bus drivers to obtain three separate credentials: a commercial driver’s license, a "P" endorsement that permits them to drive a vehicle with 16 or more people on board, and an "S" endorsement that permits them to drive a school bus.
Cowart told the newspaper that Herringdine had passed the "S" endorsement written test and was undergoing the required hours of training with a driver trainer. He was scheduled to finalize his skills assessment for the "S" endorsement last Wednesday, two days after the fatal crash.
The district will now review the training for all of its bus drivers to ensure that they are fully certified. The district also will work with the state Department of Education and the Department of Driver Services to ensure its training process meets state requirements, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
As SBF previously reported, Rashawn Walker was killed last Monday when the school bus he was riding hit a ditch and toppled over after Herringdine reportedly lost control of the vehicle.