Education

School bus hits Hartford child, Colchester bus driver detained for erratic operation

By Guy Page

A Hartford (White River Junction) school bus struck a middle school child after she had gotten off the bus Friday, injuring her foot and sending her to the hospital, the Valley News reports.

The accident occurred on Rte. 4 at about 3:45 PM, police reportedly said. The driver thought the student was off the bus, checked his mirrors to determine other children were seated, and accidentally started moving the bus prematurely. 

The girl was in obvious distress from the injury and was taken to the hospital immediately. She is recovering at home.

Colchester bus driver detained for erratic driving – a school bus driver for a Colchester sports team was detained by police after reports that he was driving erratically in Burlington on Saturday. The bus pulled over in the parking lot of Rice High School, where another driver parked in front of the bus to prevent its moving, WCAX reports. No-one was injured in the incident. 

The Colchester bus episode was at least the second for the school district this calendar year. In March, a school bus rear-ended a truck that had stopped for a mail truck and oncoming traffic, according to WCAX

As with many other school staff positions, many school districts have a shortage of school bus drivers. Essex-Westford School district (adjacent to Colchester) is short five drivers, WCAX reported. Rutland has three driving positions open. 

Schools have a communications plan in place in the event of a school bus accident where negligence is suspected. 

According to the Vermont Agency of Education, a Bus Accident Facilitated Dialogue is “designed to initiate a conversation with your staff about how your school would respond to a morning bus accident that is the result of suspected negligence and to familiarize you with current school emergency operations plans, policies, and procedures. We recommend that school leaders share this training with key school decision makers during monthly/quarterly school crisis planning team meetings.”

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