New information has been released about a school bus accident that happened on Feb. 3 that injured 14 students. According to the Knox County school bus driver, the accident happened because he was distracted by rowdy students.
The Knox County Sheriff’s Office reported that the bus was traveling south on Cedar Bluff carrying 55 students home from Cedar Bluff Elementary School. As the bus attempted to turn left onto Dutchtown Road, it collided with a car stopped in the turn lane and then ran off the road into an embankment and hit a small tree.
According to the crash report, the driver told investigators that “some of the passengers were being rowdy.” He said he thought there was an issue on the bus, which caused him to look up into the rearview mirror.
The report listed the actions that led to the accident as interference by a passenger and inattention caused by talking, eating, reading, etc. No citations were issued, but the report did list driver violations as pending.
The reported also included the fact that at least 12 children were sitting in the first two rows of the bus at the time of the accident. Ten students were taken to local hospitals to be examined for injuries. Four other students were taken to the hospital by their parents.
The bus driver was placed on leave after the incident. It was also reported that he had been involved in two prior incidents.
In 2012, at a school-sponsored Smokies Baseball event, his bus and another bumped mirrors and damaged a turn signal.
In 2014, the driver’s bus was hit by a vehicle involved in a two vehicle accident, in which one vehicle crossed over the center lane and hit the bus.
As parents, we entrust the safety of our children everyday into the hands of bus drivers. When a driver is negligent or distracted and causes an accident in which your child is injured, you deserve justice. Our school bus accident lawyers can help you get the justice you deserve.