Multiple investigations looking into Jefferson County school bus crash

FOX Files

HIGH RIDGE, Mo. – The Missouri State Highway Patrol and a school bus company are each investigating a crash last Friday involving two buses. A representative from Durham Bus Services confirmed the company is investigating the crash. Both the state police and bus company’s investigations include a review of two driver cameras.

After Friday’s crash, Amber Bradley got a call from a neighbor who saw it. She warned that Bradley’s 6-year-old son might be involved.

“It was terrifying,” she said. “I knew his bus was involved in an accident. I didn’t know which bus he was on. I didn’t know where exactly he was sitting on the bus.”

Bradley’s son was on the bus that was struck.

“I was there within five minutes and staff from the school were there before me,” she said. “My son was still on the bus. They had a teacher outside the bus. They had teachers on the bus, calming kids down, letting them know they were going to be OK.”

The Northwest R-1 School District reported two minor injuries. The buses were emptied and principals rode with students on other buses the rest of the way home. Bradley’s son was ok. She drove him home then says she got a call from Durham Bus Services that there was a crash.

“I was kind of shocked when they called me and I assumed they were calling to check on him,” she said. “I told the woman, ‘Thank you, he’s home safe with me.’”

Durham Bus Services told FOX 2 their focus was securing the scene and making sure everyone was safe. A company spokesperson said that was followed by one dispatcher notifying dozens of parents.

Safety Training Supervisor Jo Ann Jackson would not go on camera but said they are actively investigating, which includes the review of video of the crash from both buses. She added that they’re waiting on the findings from the state police and that they have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to distractions.

Although the bus company is not saying if this driver was distracted or giving any reason for the accident, Jackson went on to say the zero-tolerance policy could mean immediate termination for failing to follow rules such as:

  • A phone cannot be seen or heard
  • A phone must be on silent in a driver’s purse or back pocket
  • All blue tooth connections must be turned off – including an Apple watch

Durham Bus Services says it hopes to have its internal investigation wrapped up shortly after the Missouri Highway Patrol’s report, which is expected in about 10 days.

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