School bus drives into ditch with children on board - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

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School bus drives into ditch with children on board

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Some parents are questioning their children's safety after a Bradley County school bus was involved in an incident this week.

The bus driver was picking up students from Michigan Avenue Elementary, Ocoee Middle School, and Walker Valley High School when it drove in to a shallow ditch. The bus, #44, also hit part of a tree while backing out of the ditch, breaking one of its windows.

"My kids told me they started yelling, 'You hit a tree! You hit a tree! You broke a window!'" explained one mother whose five children were on the bus when it happened.

She received a frantic phone call from her daughter.

"Her younger siblings were scared. She was shaken up," the mother said.

Bradley County Schools called it a "minor incident."

Officials say the bus driver was trying to avoid traffic when its tires slipped into the ditch. Fifteen children were on board at the time, and no one was hurt.

The bus was delayed briefly, and continued on its route to school.

"When is a bus driver held accountable for things that are done? He was back on the very same route the next morning," the mother said.

It's the second accident involving a Bradley County bus driver in less than four months. In October, a bus driver blamed fog after crashing on his morning route in Charleston. That driver received a suspension.

This mom says she just wants to feel confident her kids will be safe.

"Honestly, I don't really want any specific thing," she said. "It's just very unsettling that something like this could happen, and it's just kind of swept under the rug."

Attempts to reach school transportation officials to find out the bus driver's status and if he will have to complete any safety training were unsuccessful.

School Patrol

David Carroll covers education news and issues at schools across the Tennessee Valley.


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