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December 31, 2013  |   Comments (3)   |   Post a comment

Teachers prevent driverless, speeding bus from overturning


AWENDAW, S.C. — The Post and Courier reports that two Charles Pinckney Elementary School teachers kept the bus they were on with 26 students and their chaperones from turning on its side after driver Michael Hacker sped through a stop sign and made a late turn. As a result, he was thrown to the floor by the momentum and the bus veered into a ditch.

Lee Morris, a sign-language interpreter who works with one of the students on the bus, grabbed the wheel and regained control of the bus, but Hacker's position prevented him from reaching the brake pedal. Fourth-grade teacher Amy Ryan was able to climb around Hacker, sit in the seat and stop the bus.

It's not clear what caused Hacker's behavior, according to The Post and Courier. In a video of the incident, he can reportedly be heard telling students later that the "brakes didn't want to work," and that he was sorry. Hacker received traffic citations for driving too fast for conditions and for not wearing a seat belt. Officials for the company that runs the bus routes for the district told the newspaper that Hacker is no longer its employee.

To read the full story, click here.

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Read more about: heroism, South Carolina

I appreciate and thank Charlie Hood for his remarks. It is a shame when a driver does not wear his/her seat belt - and inexcusable, not only in this day and age, but because of the driver’s responsibility for their passengers who they are entrusted with. I agree with a warning light/device when a seat belt is not used (like a child reminder system). And, apologize in advance if I sound extreme in my next statement, but since it has come to mind in this case, a "breathalyzer" prior to starting a bus might be an excellent technological advance to consider also, should it prove to be economical and possible. Although the percentage of drivers who drink prior to driving a bus is extremely minimal, we all know that it does happen. Driving without a seatbelt, driving after having had a drink (or two), speeding, and the like are all inexcusable behaviors for school bus drivers. And for any driver for that matter.

Randy Mazie    |    Jan 07, 2014 07:14 AM

There are still a small number of school bus drivers who don't wear their seat belts at all, or don't wear them properly. This incident is another "bad" example that may help us in our school bus driver training to wake up the recalcitrant few who don't wear their belts. As time goes on, I am leaning more and more toward a technology incentive like we have in cars. Some type of warning indicator, or better yet, an ignition interlock, would help change behavior. NHTSA testing proved that such systems in commercial motor vehicles do increase compliance.

Charlie Hood    |    Jan 03, 2014 08:48 AM

Thank G-d everyone is ok. Let me know if the bus is available for sale

bruce    |    Jan 01, 2014 07:14 AM

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