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March 16, 2010  |   Comments (14)   |   Post a comment

Bus driver in fatal crash charged with vehicular homicide

Footage from an onboard recorder shows a school bus turning into the path of an oncoming car. The bus driver was charged with homicide by vehicle in the crash, which killed the passenger of the car and injured others.

Footage from an onboard recorder shows a school bus turning into the path of an oncoming car. The bus driver was charged with homicide by vehicle in the crash, which killed the passenger of the car and injured others.

ZIEGLERVILLE, Pa. — A school bus driver was driving “in an extremely reckless manner” when his bus struck a car, killing the passenger, according to the county district attorney.

The bus driver in the Feb. 17 accident, Frederick Robert Poust III, was arrested Tuesday for homicide by vehicle and numerous counts of recklessly endangering other persons.

Investigators said that Poust, transporting 45 middle school students, was attempting to turn left into a school driveway. Footage from an onboard recorder shows the bus turning into the path of an oncoming car.

Poust “operated the school bus in a negligent and recklessness manner, improperly entering the eastbound lane of traffic and causing the accident,” a statement from Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said.

The passenger of the car was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the car was taken to a hospital with serious injuries. Five students on the bus sustained minor injuries.

Authorities said the video footage prior to the crash showed that Poust had run 10 stop signs. He also allegedly was fatigued after working a night shift in his security job and talked on a cell-phone headset while driving the bus (although apparently not at the time of the crash).

“He's tired, he's exhausted, he's distracted,” Ferman said. “He's listening to music. He's talking on the phone. He's ignoring stop signs and basically ignoring every safety precaution you would want a school bus driver to pay attention to.”

The district attorney noted that this was the second fatal accident that Poust has caused. In 1999 (before he was a school bus driver), Poust failed to stop at a stop sign and struck another vehicle. The crash killed a 2-year-old girl and injured her mother.

“Knowing that past history and then seeing the driving that was going on that day just outrages all of us,” Ferman said. “It is impossible to think that someone who had taken the life of a child could be so reckless on this particular day while carrying more children.”


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Read more about: cell phones, distracted driving, driver fatigue, school bus crash, video surveillance

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What I question is, who monitors the video from that bus service. Why weren't his habbits discovered on video's prior to loss of life? I've been driving school buses since 1984, and I find this video very upsetting because his habbits and neglegence were so strong. Video's have to be monitored on a regular basis. Not after something happens. I would like to believe that if his video's were monitored regularly, he would have lost his job long before this accident happened. Which means, the accident wouldn't have happened. My thoughts go out to the victims involved. Joe

Joe    |    Apr 29, 2011 10:51 PM

I have been a bus operator now for 20 yrs. and if the transportation dept did a background check they would of gotten his driving history so I am asking was it done? I hope that they give him time in jill to think about what he did to this family.

Carlene    |    Feb 04, 2011 11:52 AM

Would seat belts have saved this passenger's life?

Walter    |    Jan 18, 2011 06:06 AM

I am a school bus driver, and its idiots like this that make the rest of us look bad. This jerk didn't have any thoughts of those on that bus or others around him. Its sickening to watch. The transportation dept should be held just as responsible as him, but it don't work that way. Some of these companies are ghetto as heck. They don't care about the driver or if you work 3 part time jobs including driving a school bus. All they care about is that someone is doing the run. Disgusiting!!

Teri    |    Jan 06, 2011 09:29 AM

Does anyone know if the driver is an employee of the school district or was he with a contracted service?

Ellen    |    Jan 05, 2011 05:55 PM

Should he even have been allowed 2 b driving a school bus with his driving history? Would that the bus would have stalled & not moved after the camera caught the first stop sign he ran! Or even that a patrolman would have been around. Coulda shoulda woulda, huh? A senseless heartless tragedy! Hope he got lots of time so that he can spend it thinking about the lives he's taken by being so careless. And selfish!

Karen    |    Jan 05, 2011 11:08 AM

Why was this driver ever put back on the roda after a fatal accident with a school bus years before? Once again It's the old who you know not what you do or did. And why didn't someone call the police after the first light was run.

Laura Johnson    |    Oct 07, 2010 07:03 AM

He would have never got certified as a school bus driver here in the California in the first place. What an idiot! I hope it spends the rest of his days behind bars

Lace    |    Aug 27, 2010 04:28 PM

Two questions come to mind. #1 Prior fatality should have shown up if he was ticketed...why didn't the District catch this and not hire him? #2 Working two jobs. Where is the guys log book? All of our professional certified school bus operators are REQUIRED to keep one. They could be moon lighting as a pizza delivery person or wal-mart. Doesn't matter - Federal Motor Carrier requires a log book!

Doris    |    Jul 21, 2010 03:38 PM

He shoud have never been hired in the place! He belongs in jail & throw the key away! When is the safety of the children taken into account when people like this are hired? It happens everywhere. Something needs to change.

Beth Larson    |    Jul 09, 2010 07:12 PM

I hope the School system is also held responsible. We have a driver who cannot pass a physical and was hired by a Superintendent & Board who knew this but because his wife works in the Board Office, he was given the job. That should also make them responsible for his accidents. When is there going to be more control from outside a local local district?

Lynette Russell    |    Mar 18, 2010 12:32 PM

I find it impossible that a background check did not reveal the 1999 accident that resulted in tne death of a two-year old. If there was a background check and it did reveal the 1999 accident, why was he hired? The 1999 accident showed a total disregard for traffic laws resulting in a death. Why bring that to a school bus. People can change, but there are plenty of candidates out there we don't have to worry about whether or not they obey traffic laws based on their background checks / MVRs.

Charlene Majors    |    Mar 18, 2010 05:39 AM

I do not think that driver should ever have been behind the wheel of a school bus. If he was driving all rhat reckless why didn't someone call the police>

Estelle    |    Mar 17, 2010 01:53 PM

It is horrifying to see a Bus driver acting with no reguard for the safety of the children in their care or the others who share the road. Were there no incidents that set warning flags previous to this irresponsible act? Threats to our children can come from any source. Be ever vigilant!(The U Tube footage appears to be reversed. Everyone is driving on the left in the film.)

Mark    |    Mar 17, 2010 05:45 AM

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