Acting JCPS superintendent discusses bus tragedy

A teenager who was a resident of Uspiritus, formerlly known as Brooklawn, died after jumping off of a moving Jefferson County school bus.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – A teenager who was a resident of Uspiritus, formerly known as Brooklawn, dies after jumping off a moving Jefferson County school bus.

Many of you are asking, how could that happen?

Police were called to Westport Road just past Herr Lane on Monday afternoon.

The bus driver we’ve learned is a JCPS veteran and now the acting superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio is reacting to this tragedy.

“The adults did everything they could to prevent this from happening, so an investigation is still going on and we're looking into everything that happened, we want to be thorough about it and we want to make sure that all policies were followed,” acting JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said. He says that he went to the scene, telling WHAS11 News Uspiritus students and staff members were on board.

“They acted very quickly and we also want to be supportive of them, because this was very traumatic for them too,” Dr. Pollio said.

John Stovall, President of the JCPS Bus Driver Union said, "If a child wants off that bus it’s hard to stop them, I mean we can all sit here and second guess but the driver, from my understanding is a 17-year driver, so he's an experienced driver. Like I said, we've had them jump out the back door, open the side doors and it can happen because you cannot lock the doors."

Stovall says all doors on school buses can be opened from inside while buses are in motion. The front door, which police say is where the teenager exited can be opened by pushing an emergency button inside.

“If something happened to that driver and they were on the bus and say it caught fire or it rolled over, the driver is incapacitated then those safety buttons are there to allow them to get off the bus and it keeps the doors from being locked so they can get off the bus,” Stovall said.

We're told adult monitors and safety rules were present on the bus. There is surveillance video of the incident on the bus that is not being released.

Uspiritus says it has trained psychiatric staff working with JCPS crisis counselors to make sure the children who witnessed this and those who knew the child, as well as staff, have access to counseling.

 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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