Georgia School Bus Driver Accused of Barging into Home, Looking for Student
A Cobb County, Georgia, school bus driver was arrested after police said he walked into a family's home looking for their daughter on Feb. 22. Authorities said the child's mother reported that Gogineni Rayudu walked into their home through their unlocked door and closed it behind him. He was wearing gloves at the time, according to WSB-TV. The woman's boyfriend questioned Rayudu, who reportedly claimed he was looking for the girl who lived there, and another little girl. He then left the home.
Authorities caught up with Rayudu and arrested him, charging him with burglary and loitering.
When asked whether the driver was still employed, a district spokesperson released a statement to School Bus Fleet, saying: "We are cooperating fully with police as they perform their investigation. The bus driver is not serving Cobb students, pending the outcome of the investigation. We cannot comment further on this until the investigation has been completed."
Michigan Student Killed in School Bus Crash
A middle school student in Wayne, Michigan, was killed in an accident involving a school bus on Feb. 14. Authorities told WDIV that it happened at the school. The student was later identified as 12-year-old Jacob Dawson-Escobedo.
According to U.S. News & World Report, the student was hit by the school bus. Other students were on board the bus at the time, but none were injured. The bus driver was not arrested as a result of the crash. A spokesperson for Wayne-Westland Schools would not confirm whether the driver was still employed by the district. A police lieutenant confirmed with School Bus Fleet that the cause of the crash is under investigation.
Classes resumed on Feb. 15 with emotional support teams available to students.
Superintendent John Dignan released a statement saying in part: "Jacob was a wonderful student and friend who was always smiling. He was also creative and smart and was working on a fantasy book. Jacob will be missed by his teachers and classmates."
Man Killed After Slamming into Virginia School Bus Full of Children
One man was killed and another injured after a minivan ran into the back of a school bus on March 5. WAVY reported that the crash happened on I-64 near Barlow Road in York County, Virginia, just before 2 a.m. The 26-year-old driver of the van, Austin Dacoda Hermann, was killed upon impact. His 20-year-old passenger suffered injuries and was taken to an area hospital.
Twenty students and two adults -- the driver and a teacher -- were on board the bus at the time of the crash. Hampton County Schools reported that the bus was part of a tour carrying choir students from Kecoughtan High traveling from a show competition in Richmond.
All students were checked by EMTs as a precaution and parents were advised to have their children examined if they felt discomfort or pain after the incident.
Virginia State Police said it is unknown at this time whether alcohol was a contributing factor in the crash; speed was determined not to have contributed. The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Texas Students Transported to Hospital After School Bus Crash
A group of students from the Alba-Goden (Texas) Independent School District were injured when the school bus they were on was hit head-on by a car driving in the opposite direction. It happened on Feb. 11. The Grand Saline Sun reported that six students and the bus driver, as well as the driver of the other vehicle were transported for treatment and evaluation.
The school bus driver said he attempted to dodge the car prior to impact.
Florida Students Injured After Being Caught in School Bus Door
Multiple students in Naples, Florida, were injured after being caught in a school bus door in front of a middle school. The Collier County Sheriff's Office reported to NBC 2 that three to four students on the bus were injured. The incident happened during the afternoon route on March 3. The students' conditions were unknown.
Man Arrested, Car Seized After Nearing Hitting Children Loading School Bus
A man who authorities say had a close call with two students loading an Iredell County, North Carolina, school bus was arrested. Video captured the incident. According to WBTV, 35-year-old Joseph Graham Padgett, Jr.'s vehicle came within inches of hitting the students loading a school bus on March 2.
Video on WBTV's website shows the girls crossing a two-lane road to enter the school bus during the morning route. It was raining at the time. The reflection in the rearview mirror on the bus shows that the stop sign was out and flashing, while the stop arm also was activated.
State troopers located the vehicle he was driving on March 3, seizing it. However, they didn't find Padgett until the following day. He was arrested and charged with passing a stopped school bus, driving with a revoked license, careless and reckless driving, and improper passing.
Teens in Stolen Car Crash into School Bus
A group of teens in a car that authorities say was stolen collided with a school bus in Newark, New Jersey, on March 1. WABC reported that the 11 students on the bus were not hurt, but the school bus driver complained of pain. The driver was checked out by medical personnel.
The driver of the stolen vehicle and the other two teens reportedly attempted to run from the scene after the crash, but police quickly captured them. It's unclear whether the teens were charged.
Video Shows Student Being Choked on School Bus
A Fort Belvoir, Virginia, child was reportedly injured when he was choked on a school bus from Walt Whitman Middle School in Alexandria. According to WUSA, the video showed a girl smacking the victim and grabbing him by the mouth. That was followed by a brief exchange, and the student was then grabbed by the neck. The girl appeared to be choking him against the seat.
The student's mother reported the late January incident after he came home crying and had red marks on his neck.
The child's mother posted the video on her business website, saying the response from her son's school to keep him safe has been inadequate. She pressed charges and a protective order against the girl in February. The order requires the girl to stay at least 50 feet away from her son for the next two years.
The girl was suspended from school, according to the mother, who also stated the principal instructed the two children walk different ways in the hall. The mother said the two still have had close contact in school since the incident, however. The school was made aware of the protective order, but WUSA reported that guidance from the Virginia Department of Education said schools are not legally responsible for enforcing a court order. However, the guidance says safety should still be a priority.
The district released a statement to WUSA, saying the district handled the situation in line with the student discipline manual. The child's mother said the state has reached out to her about the incident, and she plans to move him to another school.
Georgia Student Charged with Vandalizing District's School Buses
A McDuffie County, Georgia, student is accused of vandalizing school buses in their district. Fox 54 reported that the 16-year-old was enrolled in the school system but had been taking coursework off-campus due to a previous incident. Officials said there also was a\damage to other school property. Photos on Fox 54's website showed a downed tree, as well as debris in a parking lot. The incident occurred early on the morning of March 2.
A total of 23 of the 63 buses that were parked in the bus lot were damaged. Some buses were parked at drivers' homes and weren't affected. Absences for students unable to find alternate transportation were not counted against them. A nearby school district loaned buses to the district to allow bus routes to resume the following day.
The student is facing criminal charges in the incident, according to a statement on the district's Facebook page.
Driver Charged After Sleeping Student Left on School Bus
A former school bus driver was charged with child endangerment for reportedly leaving a five-year-old student on an Edinburg, Texas, school bus on March 3. KRGV reported Sandy Munguia was charged with abandoning or endangering a child.
A spokesperson for Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District said the student fell asleep on the bus and woke up alone with the vehicle inside a bus barn near the school. The student managed to get off the bus. School security cameras showed the boy climbing under a fence and walking in the middle of the road, where a motorist was able to get police to help the boy. He was eventually reunited with his mother.
According to school officials, Munguia did not follow safety protocols and procedures when leaving the student behind. Protocols include looking through each and every seat to make sure the bus was clear. School bus surveillance video shows she did not do that.
Munguia resigned from her position with the district prior to being arraigned.
A search of Munguia's records by the team at KRGV revealed she was convicted of driving while intoxicated in November 2010. She also had two previous misdemeanors for failure to appear in court and not having a driver’s license.