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July 14, 2011  |   Comments (11)   |   Post a comment

Report: Bus driver was 'drowsy' on day of fatal crash


CARROLL COUNTY, Ga. — A Carroll County school bus driver in a fatal crash in October 2010 might have been experiencing the side-effects of cough medicine at the time, according to a police report.

Kenneth Ross Herringdine was sentenced Tuesday to a year of probation and received a $600 fine for failing to stay in his lane, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Students on the bus told investigators that Herringdine appeared drowsy while operating the bus, according to a Georgia State Patrol investigative report.

Herringdine tested negative for alcohol or illicit drugs after the crash, but had traces of brompheniramine in his system — an ingredient used in cough medicine that can cause sleepiness, fatigue or dizziness.

Rashawn James "Ray Ray" Walker, 17, died from injuries he sustained during the accident. He was thrown through a window and was rolled over by the bus. Thirteen other students sustained injuries.

Herringdine was scheduled to take his test to become a full-time driver the day after the accident occurred.

His trainer, Sheri Lyn Davis, who was on the bus at the time of the incident, told investigators she was worried about his performance and that students were afraid to ride with him the afternoon they loaded the bus, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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Read more about: school bus crash

Why would an instructor allow a driver to transport kids if the driver is not qualified? I hold the instructor as much at fault in this situation. It's pretty sad when the pupils sense concern and don't want to ride the bus.

Officer Weaver    |    Jul 21, 2011 10:27 AM

The trainer is at fault... why didnt she tell him forget it today, I'll be driving!!! She also needs to be fined and god I hope that district has a new trainer!!!

old yeller    |    Jul 18, 2011 03:32 PM

Just a quick correction: This sentance in my comment is from another comment, "I don't understand what kind of trainer (if in her mind) had concerns about his driving would she allow him to drive?"

jkraemer    |    Jul 18, 2011 02:35 PM

I don't understand what kind of trainer (if in her mind) had concerns about his driving would she allow him to drive? Perhaps the kind of trainer desperate for bus drivers. I agree the trainer and whoever encouraged her to pass the driver have a shared responsibility concerning what happened next. I can't find just cause to do these things, can not comprehended kids thought of as disposable or otherwise worth the risk. Were it even cargo most carriers have safety concerns. Even over-the-counter drugs that say non-drowsy and combined with a poor night's rest can have an effect. Have experienced that effect myself behind the wheel, not a good experience, very risky and made me cautious enough not to drive a school bus while having to take such medicines when also involved a poor night's sleep. I realize people are desperate to keep their jobs, and also that some employers push their drivers to the point of unacceptable liability if it results in a bus crash. Still have trouble with ignoring the risks involved.

jkraemer    |    Jul 18, 2011 02:28 PM

the trainer in my district would of pulled him from the wheel if she thought he was doing a bad job i think she should be held responsible for that accident too

stacy    |    Jul 18, 2011 01:18 PM

The trainer should be dismissed and fined also, if she willingly let him drive with uncomfortable passengers SHAME on her we all know accidents happen, however adding that to the mix just makes me realize how poor of a trainer she is, and thus the company or district that employes her.

brian    |    Jul 18, 2011 01:14 PM

well why would she let him drive if she could tell he was sleepy? OK My take is this> He was new so one could say he should had not drove and known better but I have seen a lot of new drivers do dumb stuff, but the driver trainer I must assume had years behind the wheel and should have known better and stop him and took over driving the school bus. IMO it is the fault of the driver trainer.

Billy    |    Jul 15, 2011 05:02 PM

I don't understand what kind of trainer (if in her mind) had concerns about his driving would she allow him to drive. I think this Trainer should be suspended or terminated. I once suspected one of my drivers of an odor in the bus before her run, (I periodically) will get on the bus to check the inside of the bus, I stopped the run and made her go for testing.

franny    |    Jul 15, 2011 08:34 AM

I agree with the person who said why in the world was she letting him drive and what kind of training would allow a driver to drive with students on board who still needed more testing. Doesn't seem to be a very good system to me

Debbie    |    Jul 15, 2011 06:11 AM

I cannot believe that the TRAINER ....Let him drive .what was wrong with her? How is it possible that someone with the experience that a trainer should know better would take the chance of something like that. SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

LFN    |    Jul 14, 2011 06:14 PM

If Sheri Lyn Davis was concerned about his condition as atated in her report, why did she let him drive the bus?

Brian O'Leary    |    Jul 14, 2011 06:05 PM

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