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April 30, 2014  |   Comments (1)   |   Post a comment

School bus driver charged in fatal Idaho crash

By Thomas McMahon


KUNA, Idaho — The school bus driver in the fatal Kuna crash in December has been charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter, authorities said on Tuesday.

According to the Idaho State Police's investigation, school bus driver Debra Boatwright, 56, was transporting 12 elementary school students near Kuna on Dec. 5. After stopping at a stop sign, the bus proceeded eastbound into a rural intersection, where a dump truck headed northbound — for which there was no stop sign — struck the rear passenger side of the bus.

"The investigation concluded that Boatwright failed to yield the right of way to [dump truck driver Charles] Derby when she pulled away from the stop sign and into the intersection," Idaho State Police officials said in a press release.

Sixth-grader Daniel Cook was sitting in the 11th row of the bus when the collision occurred. The 11-year-old died at the scene.

Four other children on the bus were injured and were transported to area hospitals.

The case was referred to the Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. On Tuesday, the county prosecutor charged Boatwright with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter.

The maximum penalty for that misdemeanor in Idaho is one year in jail and/or a $2,000 fine, as well as a license suspension for a time determined by the court. Boatwright will have to appear in court on or before June 5.

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Read more about: fatalities, Idaho, law enforcement, school bus crash

If there were only 12 kids on the bus, especially elementary children, there was no need for them to be sitting so far back. They should have all been up front in the first three or four rows of seats. Kids always seem to want to sit in the back of the bus, even if there's only one on board. I discourage that kind of behavior whenever possible. Very small children, K-3, are not allowed in the back of the bus, period. Daniel Cook would have lived if he were in the forward part of the bus.

G Bridgman    |    May 01, 2014 04:27 PM

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