Settlement Reached in Texas Fatal Crash Involving 6-Year-Old
The parents of a 6-year-old student struck and killed by a school bus in April have reached a settlement with the child's school district.
Sean and Tori Sayre filed suit against Brock ISD, Blue Bird, and the company that sold the bus, Rush Truck Centers of Texas, on behalf of their daughter Emory.
She was the last of three students to exit the bus and cross in front of it. As she started walking in front of the bus, the driver began to drive the bus and hit her, running over her with the front right and rear tires, according to the suit. Sayre was flown by helicopter to an area hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries about one hour later.
The suit sought compensatory damages and punitive damages as a result of negligence on the part of the manufacturer and the company that made and sold the bus, according to The Weatherford Democrat.
The family's attorney said the terms of the settlement between the Sayres and Brock ISD were confidential.
In an amended suit filed last month, the Sayres accuse Blue Bird of failing to properly design, manufacture, and market the bus; failing to properly test the bus; failing to provide adequate pedestrian detection and warning system; failing to equip each bus with said detection systems; failing to offer said systems as a feature on school buses; and other acts or omissions deemed negligent.
Rush Truck Centers (RTC) is accused to failing to properly market the bus; properly warn of the lack of adequate pedestrian detection/warning system; failing to disclose said system; placing the bus on a roadway “when it knew or should have known that the bus was not equipped to operate in a safe manner”; failing to comply with applicable codes, regulations and standards; and other acts or omissions deemed negligent.
In a joint answer to the claims, Blue Bird and RTC said they were not solely responsible, and that other parties may be responsible for the conduct and/or negligence. The companies also claim any injuries and damages “may have been the result of unavoidable circumstances that could not have been prevented by anyone, including defendants.”
School Bus Caught in Crossfire of Delaware Shootout
A school bus with dozens of students on board was hit by gunfire in Newport, Delaware, during a gun battle and police chase on Dec. 2.
Officers initially responded at about 7:30 a.m. for a report of a suspicious person with a gun, according to WPVI. Police reported that the suspect fled and gunfire erupted. A school bus carrying 36 DelCastle Technical High School students was hit by bullets as it sat at a stop sign.
Three bullets hit the bus, with one penetrating and lodging in the bus driver's armrest, police said. The bus driver was able to drive away from the shooting scene to safety.
Once at the school, the students were ushered into the auditorium. Some were picked up and went home for the day, while others stayed at school. Counselors were made available for students who needed them.
Police are investigating whether the bullets that hit the bus were fired by the suspect or by police.
Woman, 4 Children Run Over at School Bus Stop by Driver Trying to Fleet Police in New York City
A mother and her four children were run over as her kids were unloading a school bus, by a driver attempting to escape police.
The incident happened during the evening rush hour on Nov. 29 in a Brooklyn neighborhood in New York City. Police said they attempted to pull a car over. The driver took off, going straight through several bus stops before hitting the family with her car, according to ABC News.
The 41-year-old mother and two of her children, ages 3 and 1, had been waiting for the school bus to arrive carrying her other two kids, ages 5 and 8, when the accident happened.
Police told School Bus Fleet that the suspect has not been apprehended.
Ohio School Bus Driver Arrested for DUI After Random Alcohol Test
A Medina, Ohio, school bus driver was arrested, accused of driving children to school while intoxicated. According to WOIO, Medina police arrested 56-year-old Herbert Ferguson after he failed a random alcohol test given to him at the end of his morning bus run.
The police chief said Ferguson was breathalyzed twice. The first time his BAC was .135, and the second time it was .138, which is almost twice the legal limit. Police reported that Ferguson was drinking vodka out of a sports drink bottle while driving the school bus.
School representatives reported the incident to Medina police, who assisted in the investigation. Ferguson was immediately removed from duty after the test, and then resigned.
Medina police arrested Ferguson on Dec. 1 for operating a bus with students onboard under the influence of alcohol.
The Medina City School transportation director told WOIO that Ferguson’s morning route included stops at four different school buildings, and he drove roughly 100 students from kindergarten through high school. School officials said he'd had no prior issues during the three years he worked there.
WOIO reported that Ferguson was arrested for operating a vehicle impaired (OVI) in 1987. The school transportation director said an OVI that old wouldn’t disqualify an applicant from getting a commercial driver’s license.
New York School Bus Monitor Fired After Video Shows Him Allegedly Getting Physical
A Philadelphia, New York, school bus monitor was fired after a video appeared to show him putting his hands on students. The monitor was contracted by First Student.
The cell phone video, obtained by WWNY, showed that the monitor became both verbal and physical with students on Nov. 29 aboard a bus operated by First Student for the Indian River Central School District.
The video starts with a student whipping her hair in the back of the bus in the face of the bus monitor, who then appears to grab the girl’s hair. Another student is seen approaching the back of the bus and appears to raise his hand to the monitor. The video then appears to show the monitor holding onto that student.
Later in the video, the monitor is seen apparently restraining one student at the front of the bus. Some students can be seen watching the incident, with some crying. The monitor is heard arguing with some students.
The school district sent a statement to WWNY, saying the monitor was "overly physical" in response to student actions, and they have been removed from all school district buses permanently. The statement went on to say that the district is working with the involved families and local law enforcement.
First Student released a statement, calling the interaction "unacceptable," and saying it has initiated the termination process with the monitor.
School Bus Crashes into New York House
Seven children were injured, when a school bus in Ramapo, New York, veered off the road, hit two parked cars, and crashed into a house. According to ABC News, the crash happened just before 9:00 a.m. on Dec. 1 in the village of New Hempstead in Rockland County.
The bus, carrying 21 children to a private school, also scraped against a telephone pole and hit a tree, then hit the unoccupied cars, and continued down a grassy hill, striking several trees and ultimately crashing into the house.
Police said the driver was taken to a hospital and treated for minor injuries. Seven children also were taken to a hospital. Five of them were evaluated for minor bumps and bruises, while the other two sustained injuries that were more serious but not life-threatening.
The crash is under investigation, police said.
School Bus Company to Pay $1.3 Million in St. Louis Crash Lawsuit
A jury in St. Louis, Missouri, found that First Student should pay $1.3 million to a boy who was struck and injured in a hit-and-run-crash while attempting to cross the street, after being let off at the wrong corner.
According to KSDK, jurors said First Student should pay the damages to Dylan Jackson, finding that the bus company was negligent by not providing its new driver with a route sheet instructing where the boy should have been dropped off.
Jackson, who was age 9 at the time of the November 2019 crash, was trying to cross the street when the car drove around the bus, hit him, and kept going. Jackson had ankle injuries requiring medical treatment, according to a court press release.
The lawsuit, filed the following month, alleged negligence by First Student and its bus driver for letting Jackson off at the wrong corner, which required him to cross several lanes of traffic to get home. Jackson told the driver a day earlier that his normal drop-off location was a different corner at that intersection, according to the lawsuit.
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