Houston school bus driver resigns after child struck

cgrant@macon.comJanuary 19, 2012 

WARNER ROBINS -- A Houston County bus driver resigned Thursday morning after being involved in an incident in which a student was struck by a vehicle after exiting a bus.

Stephen Wilson, of Warner Robins, was cited with reckless conduct, a misdemeanor, after an Eagle Springs Elementary School third-grader was struck by a passing pick-up truck Wednesday after the driver did not activate the warning lights or extend the stop sign as he allowed the student to exit the bus and cross the road.

Another vehicle, described in a Houston County Sheriff’s incident report as a Ford Ranger, was passing the bus on the left side as the student was crossing in front of the bus and stepped into its path. The driver swerved in an attempt to avoid hitting the girl, but the student was struck by the car’s right side mirror and forced to the ground, the report states.

The accident occurred around 4:30 p.m. Bonita Way.

District officials were immediately notified and sent medical personnel to the scene, said Houston County schools Superintendent Robin Hines.

There was no evidence of major injury, but the child was taken to Houston Medical Center by a family member as a precaution, Hines said.

“Thankfully the child is OK,” he said, adding the student is expected to return to school Friday. “We’re really grateful because it could have been much worse.”

The 66-year-old bus driver, Hines said, had been a very good employee with the district and was very forthcoming and remorseful in this incident.

District drivers receive appropriate training, but guidelines simply were not followed in this case, Hines said. Still, he said, the incident presents an opportunity for district officials to review its practices.

To contact writer Caryn Grant, call 256-9751.

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