Jun 12, 2013 11:59 AM by MELISSA CANONE

Bus accident in Vermilion Parish goes unreported

A Vermilion Parish school bus driver is charged with minor traffic violations after she hit a guard rail while driving and failed to report the incident.

According to Louisiana State Police, the crash happened at 7:20 a.m., when Jeanette Stelly hit the railing of the bridge at Highway 335 and Lomire Road on May 20, but Stelly did not file a report with police or with the School Board until hours later, after parent started to ask questions.

LSP Troop I Public Information Officer Stephen Hammons said school transportation officials did not know about the incident until State Police called to inquire about it.

According to Hammons, the Vermilion Parish School Board has cooperated with the investigation since it was brought to light. The bus driver was charged with careless operation of a vehicle and improper turn. More charges may come depending on the outcome of the ongoing investigation.

There reportedly is bus surveillance video shot during the crash that shows a girl riding on the bus hitting seat in front of her and falling face first onto the floor of the bus. Multiple requests for a copy of the bus video have been denied.

Vermilion Parish School System legal counsel first cited pending personnel actions, then pending litigation, for denying the request.



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