Officials: No charges to be filed in bus wreck

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, January 26, 2012

No charges will be filed in the Friday morning bus crash that sent 41 children and a bus driver to area hospitals, according to information provided by the Alabama Department of Public Safety.

“It was an accident. It was unfortunate,” said Pike County Schools Superintendent Dr. Mark Bazzell, adding that he had not anticipated any charges.

According to an investigator’s findings, the bus driver was traveling north on County Road 2243 and was exiting a curve when the right side of the bus’ tires left the road. The school bus then completely left the road, the investigator reported. The driver steered to the left and as the front tires re-entered the roadway, the back of the bus slid to the right in the wet grass. The school bus then overturned onto its right side, rolled over and came to a rest on the driver’s side.

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No drug or alcohol tests were administered at the scene by state troopers, and the driver was “apparently normal” according to information provided by the DPS.

Pike County Schools did give the bus driver a drug and alcohol test.

“That is part of our standard procedure,” said Bazzell, who added that results were negative.

While troopers did report the road was wet and it was raining, reportedly those factors did not cause the crash.

The last student released from medical care was able to go home Saturday. The school system is offering counseling for those students involved in the crash.