School bus driver involved in Bonny Oaks crash loses job
UPDATE: Friday Sept. 20, 9:00 a.m.
Hamilton County Schools transportation director Ben Coulter has completed his investigation into a September 10 school bus crash on Bonny Oaks Drive. As a result, the driver, 62-year-old David Kimbro, is no longer employed with Hamilton County or Durham School Services, according to Coulter. Kimbro had been cited by police for following too close.
According to Coulter, the investigation revealed that the driver was driving too closely to the other vehicle. Coulter said, "There was a verbal altercation between two students which accounted for several students screaming. The driver attempted to get control of the situation. He looked through his overhead mirror and chastised some of the students. After this he focused on the road and noticed the truck stopped in front of him. Our conclusion is that the driver should be able to handle a situation like this without having an accident, however, the accident never happens if the students are behaving correctly." The driver, 62-year-old David Kimbro, is no longer employed with Hamilton County or Durham School Services, according to Coulter.
PREVIOUS STORY FROM SEPTEMBER 12:
Police confirm the bus driver involved in the wreck on Bonny Oaks Drive Tuesday morning is David Kimbro, 62. He's cited for following too close.
School officials tell Channel 3 they will review the bus surveillance video but Hamilton County School Transportation Supervisor Ben Coulter has watched it.
"There was an altercation between two kids, a verbal altercation that caused some other kids to scream on the bus and caused the driver to lose his attention on the roadway to look up in his mirror," Coulter explains.
"This is why they need a monitor on those buses," says Rebecca Smith. She has more than ten years of bus driving experience in Hamilton County and north Georgia.
"You're not supposed to distract the driver and if kids don't follow these rules something awful can happen," says Smith. "As I'm driving or the bus driver, there is very little I can do to maintain the order on that bus."
Channel 3 wanted to know if school officials would consider bus monitors after this most recent accident.
"We feel like our buses are under control from most of the video tapes we view and they do a good job and the schools do a good job of enforcing discipline," says Coulter.
Assistant Superintendent Lee McDade tells Channel 3 bus monitors are paid positions, while there are monitors on special needs buses the budget will not allow monitors on every bus in the district. However, Smith believes its money well spent.
"They have to be aware of what's happening on the road as well as in the bus. It is so difficult to do both sometimes," Smith says.