LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A student who jumped from a moving school bus here died on Monday.
Louisville Metro Police Major LaVita Chavous told Courier-Journal that the boy, 16, threw himself out of the front door and was killed when he hit the pavement. The bus was transporting 33 Jefferson County Public Schools students to Brooklawn Home, a state residential treatment center for at-risk children.
Vadim Dale, a police spokesman, told the newspaper that the driver did not open the door; it was either forced open or an emergency button was pressed, and the driver was not at fault.
Uspiritus, the company that operates Brooklawn, released a statement about the incident on its Facebook page on Tuesday:
“The Uspiritus family is obviously devastated at the tragic event that occurred on Monday. We ask for your thoughts and prayers in the coming days and beyond as we try to come to grips with such a painful loss.”
Crisis counselors and psychiatric staff from the school district are working with students who witnessed the incident and those who knew the student who died, a spokeswoman for Jefferson County Public Schools told Courier-Journal.
Dr. Marty Pollio, acting superintendent of the school district, told WHAS11 that the adults aboard the bus “did everything they could to prevent this from happening.” Pollio said that an investigation is ongoing, and that the district wants to ensure that all policies were followed.
John Stovall, president of the district’s bus driver union, told the news source that it’s difficult to stop a student who wants to get off a bus, because the doors cannot be locked, due to a potential emergency happening inside the bus.
Bus monitors were aboard the bus, and there is surveillance video of the incident that is not being released, WHAS11 reports.