Safety

Police captain found guilty of illegal bus passing

Posted on April 26, 2011

SMITHFIELD, N.C. — Capt. Bruce Thomas Gentry, 43, of the Smithfield Police Department, was found guilty last Tuesday of illegally passing a stopped school bus in December.

Gentry received a 45-day suspended sentence, The Herald reports. He was issued the traffic citation on Dec. 17, when witnesses say he drove his police cruiser past a bus that was stopped and had its red lights on.

Misty Ricard, the mother of a 10-year-old boy who was crossing the street to board the bus, said she had to yell her son's name to prevent him from stepping out in front of Gentry's car. Once Ricard's son had boarded the bus, she followed the car and wrote down the license plate number on a gum wrapper. She identified Gentry as the driver in court.

The bus driver, Melissa Spain, said she made a hand motion to signal the car to stop, but it didn't. She also said she had turned on the bus' flashing yellow warning lights 400 feet prior to stopping, according to The Herald.

Gentry told District Court Judge Andy Corbett that he thought the bus driver was waiting for him to pass before stopping, and that only the yellow lights were flashing when he passed.

Corbett rejected several attempts by Gentry's lawyer to have the charges dropped.

In January, police Chief Michael Scott said that he would take no disciplinary action against Gentry until he had his day in court. And any discipline would be minor, Scott added, saying the offense did not merit a demotion or firing, The Herald reports.

Related Topics: law enforcement, stop-arm running/illegal passing

Comments ( 5 )
  • Ron

     | about 6 years ago

    I am a Retired police Chief... NOT A MAJOR INCIDENT???who is he kidding what if his child was crossing the road? How minor would that have been. I would have fired him as soon as he was found guilty of the stop arm violation. I now teach School Bus Driver Training in SC when are they going to wake up and relaize how improtant a school bus loading area is?

  • See all comments
More Stories
News

2 Killed in School Bus-Truck-Car Crash

In Texas, an assistant track team coach and a big-rig driver were killed and at least 18 bus passengers were injured in a collision between a school bus, an 18-wheeler, and another vehicle.

Article

5 New School Bus Shop Tools

An app that helps track maintenance and fuel, a remote-controlled mobile column lift, and a portable LED work light are among the latest offerings that can assist in school bus maintenance.

A school bus carrying 13 students was traveling along a highway when it hit a large turkey that flew across the roadway. Stock photo by Grendelkhan via Wikimedia Commons
News

School Bus Collides With Turkey

A bus carrying 13 students is traveling along a highway when a large turkey flies across the roadway from a ditch, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol.

Product

Timer Switch

The 5600 Timer Box is designed to provide flexible, efficient switching of LED lights in a compact unit.

News

Student Allegedly Sexually Assaulted on School Bus

A Florence County (S.C.) Sheriff’s Office report states that video allegedly shows students pulling another student to the back of the bus and assaulting her while another student appears to block the driver’s view.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!