South Carolina School Bus Hits Student, Crashes into Building
Seven people were taken to the hospital after a schol bus driver in North Charleston, South Carolina, struck a 15-year-old student then smashed into a building. It happened on Sept. 20, according to WCSC. Police said the bus struck the teen on the sidewalk who was waiting to be picked up by the bus, then crashed into the front of a store, during the morning commute. A North Charleston police spokesperson told WCSC that the bus driver lost control while making a turn. Charleston County School District officials said eight elementary-aged students from North Charleston Creative Arts were on the bus at the time of the crash. Four of those students and the bus driver were taken to the hospital. The student who was hit, along with another student who was waiting for the bus who was struck by debris, were also taken to the hospital. The student who was hit had minor injuries, according to police.
School Bus Crashes onto West Philadelphia Sidewalk
Three students were taken to a hospital after a school bus in West Philadelphia, Penn., crashed onto a sidewalk on Sept. 20. Police said the bus T-boned an SUV at an intersection during the morning commute. A driver, a bus monitor, and three students were onboard the Durham School Services bus at the time of the crash, a National Express spokesperson told NBC Philadelphia. The students onboard the bus were taken to a nearby hospital to be checked for injuries. A spokesperson for the School District of Philadelphia reported that the students had minor injuries. The bus was enroute to Dobbins Technical High School in North Philadelphia.
New York School Bus Attendant Hit by Vehicle
A North Collins (New York) Central School District school bus attendant was hit by a vehicle Sept. 15 during morning student pickup. The district reported that no students were injured, according to WKBW. The students were taken to their respective schools and later had an opportunity to meet with counseling staff.
The school district did not report the attendant's condition. School Bus Fleet reached out for more information. This story will be updated as soon as we hear back.
Parents of Student Killed in School Bus Crash File Lawsuit
The parents of a 6-year-old girl who was killed in an April crash in Parker County, Texas, filed a lawsuit. School Bus Fleet previously reported that the student, later identified as Emory Sayre, was struck by the bus after getting off of it. The student's parents, Sean and Tori Sayre, filed a lawsuit against the Brock Independent School District, Blue Bird Body Company, and Rush Truck Centers of Texas. The Forth Worth Star-Telegram reports that the Sayres are seeking in excess of $1 million. Emory was the last of three students to walk in front of the bus, according to the lawsuit. She fell under the right side of the bus and was then run over by the front right and rear right tires, the lawsuit states. She was taken to a local hospital where she died from her injuries an hour after the accident. The bus driver was not criminally charged in the case.
Blue Bird designed and manufactured the bus. The Brock school district bought it in 2019 from Rush Truck Centers, according to the lawsuit. The suit alleges that Brock school officials failed to provide a safe environment for Emory. It also alleges design defects against the manufacturer of the bus for not installing student detection systems and school bus motion sensor technology. Such life-saving technologies designed to prevent tragedies have been available for years, according to the lawsuit.
Texas School District to Hire Firm to Investigate Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Bus Driver
The Prosper (Texas) Independent School District, school board hired an independent firm to investigate sexual abuse accusations against a former school bus driver. Frank Paniagua was arrested in May, accused of repeatedly assaulting two young elementary school students. Fox 4 News Dallas-Fort Worth reported that Paniagua killed himself while in custody. A lawsuit filed last month against the school district claims the district failed to protect the children and then tried to keep the allegations a secret. Parents claim they were never informed of the allegations or the arrest. After the lawsuit went public, the school district announced it hired a firm to investigate. A board member revealed on social media that the firm that was hired was the same one representing the district in a lawsuit filed against it. The board then hired a second, separate firm.
Georgia Bus Driver Arrested After Reportedly Pushing Students
A Morgan County, Ga., school bus driver was arrested and charged with two counts of simple battery after authorities said he was caught on video pushing two young students during a dispute on Sept. 9. James O’Neil, a bus driver with the Morgan County Charter School System who was hired in 2020, was arrested on Sept. 16. The video, filmed by a student and uploaded to social media, went viral. O'Neil was then fired from the school system, according to The Morgan County Citizen. A chief deputy for the Morgan County Sheriff's Office said there are allegations of the incident being racially motivated. Investigators reveiwed three separate videos of the incident -- two of them filmed by students and one from the school bus security camera. The alleged victims are 6- and 10-year-old siblings.
The childrens' mother claimed that O'Neil told her 6-year-old to sit in the back of the bus, despite the fact that the younger students usually sit in the front of the bus away from the older high school students riding the bus in the back. The viral social media video showed the driver standing over the child, pushing him back into his seat near the front of the bus. It then shows the 10-year-old trying to defend her brother. After yelling at the girl, O'Neil is then seen allegedly pushing her, causing her to stumble and fall back.
The students' parents claimed the incident was racially motivated and had complained about the same bus driver harassing their children in the past. O’Neil is an older white male and the Carter children are black. The children involved were permanently pulled out of the school systems by their parents. Investigators determined they could not establish whether the incident was racially motivated.
Fight Involving Parents, Students on School Bus Leads to Arrest
A fight involving numerous parents and students on a Chester County, S.C., school bus on Sept. 9 led to an arrest. Chester County Sheriff's Office deputies reported that two students began a fight on a Chester Middle School bus. The school bus arrived at a stop shortly after the fight began, and the parent of one of the students involved in the fight stepped onto the bus. Deputies told WSOC that as the situation escalated, the bus driver drove to the Chester County Sheriff’s Office parking lot. In the parking lot, the driver honked the horn to get attention from law enforcement, who entered the bus and broke up the fight.
At that time, deputies said other parents began to arrive in the parking lot. One parent of a student involved began fighting with the parent of another student, forcing deputies to break up the fight. Chester Middle School and Chester High School staff arrived on the scene and helped dismiss students to the parents who arrived, according to the sheriff’s office. Deputies said one parent was arrested and is facing charges for interfering with the operation of a school bus. Another parent was ticketed for disorderly conduct. The school bus driver, Celistine Sanders, was formally recognized by the school district for her actions.
Student Reportedly Sprays Pepper Spray on School Bus
A Coatesville, Penn., student reportedly released pepper spray during the afternoon commute aboard a school bus on Sept. 12. The Daily Local News reports that Coatesville City Police along with Coatesville Area School District Police responded, as well as a representative from the school district. It's unclear whether the pepper spray was intentionally set off. A statement from the school district said none of the students were seriously injured. The driver immediately pulled over and called 911. The school district reported one student complained of respiratory irritation but refused medical treatment. The bus was quickly ventilated and continued on its afternoon route to take students home, according to the school district.
The district reported that it takes the incident seriously and that the student involved will be disciplined in accordance with the district's disciplinary policy.