Indiana School Bus Driver Arrested After Allowing Students to Operate Bus
With more and accidents involving buses transpiring today, motorists, as well as bus drivers, need to be driving with added caution to help prevent another from occurring. Unfortunately, not all are putting the necessary safety precautions in place which continues to increase roadway danger and risk. About a week ago, a bus wreck occurred in Los Angeles allegedly caused by a driver who cut the bus off, resulting in a serious accident occurring that left 25 people injured. And just a few weeks before that, ABC News reported that a school bus driver allowed three students she had been transporting on the bus to physically operate the vehicle for short periods of time.
According to the news source, Joandrea Dehaven McAtee, 27, was operating a school bus in Valparaiso, IN when she allowed “an 11-year-old, a 13-year-old, and a 17-year-old to drive the bus for short distances.” Other students had been aboard the bus at the time and even recorded the students driving. In the video footage that was released, McAtee is heard saying, “First, what you got to do is put your foot on the brake.” After both the school and parents of the students became aware of what events transpired on their kids’ school bus that day, they were outraged.
McAtee was immediately fired from First Student, which is the company responsible for the school bus operations and she was arrested and charged with felony neglect of a dependent person. First Student sent out a statement to ABC News after the incident occurred saying, “We are incredibly disappointed by the actions of our former driver. There is nothing more important than the safety of the students we transport. Behavior such as this is completely unacceptable and totally at odds with what we stand for as a company. The driver has been terminated. We have a zero-tolerance policy for employees whose actions may harm or put others at risk."
The news outlet highlighted that the Porter Township School Corporation was also extremely “angered and disappointed in the actions of the driver” as the “safety of [their] students is a top priority.” They issued a statement as well saying, “We are thankful for the students and parents who came forward quickly with this information to both PTSC administration and law enforcement allowing us to respond expediently and take the proper steps to ensure student safety."
While the school and the authorities seem to have taken the appropriate forms of action to hold this bus driver accountbale for her behavior, the reality is, the outcome of allowing the teens to drive could have been much worse.
What should I do if my child was involved in an automobile accident in Indiana?
When a bus driver or another individual displays negligent behavior that leads to an accident occurring, they can be held accountbale for their actions. And if you have a child who was recently involved in a wreck, whether it was while they were present in your vehicle or being transported on a school bus, you are encouraged to contact Gary, IN personal injury attorney Marshall P. Whalley. Our firm can help you understand what your legal rights are, how much your accident entitles you to collect, and what process you must follow to recover this amount.
You can also visit Marshall P. Whalley & Associates, PC at:
51 W. 112th Avenue
Crown Point, IN 46307