HARRISON CITY, Pa. — A former school bus driver here is accused of causing a student to burn his hand earlier this month by asking him to remove a live power line from her vehicle.

Patricia J. Ryan was charged by police with endangering the welfare of a child and with reckless endangerment because of the April 15 incident, Trib-Live reports.

WREG obtained a statement from Dr. Matthew Harris, the superintendent of Penn-Trafford School District, that said a goose had flown into and struck an electronic wire system. That caused several wires to be disconnected and fall to the ground, and a school van that was transporting the district’s students was in the area at the time, according to the statement.

A criminal complaint states that Ryan was heard on the bus radio telling dispatch that wires were downed in the street and dispatch advised her to turn onto a different street to avoid the power lines, WREG reports. The van is then seen on bus surveillance video proceeding past that street and getting tangled in the power lines, according to the news source.

Officer James Kowalczuk said in a criminal complaint that Ryan asked the five students aboard if one of them would remove the power line from the vehicle, according to Trib-Live. Kowalczuk also said in the complaint that the victim stated that he volunteered to remove the wire and burned his right hand, and that the bus driver kept asking him if he was OK when he got back on the van. Police said that when emergency crews, police, and school officials arrived, Ryan didn't disclose the incident.

Superintendent Harris' statement also said that after the incident, the school principal learned from the students aboard the van about the driver’s request of the students, and the principal reported that to Harris. The district contacted First Student to report the incident and have Ryan removed from servicing the district, and she was fired.
Ryan told Trib-Live on Monday that she “never intended to hurt anyone.”

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