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Driver passes stopped school bus picking up child in Morse

Posted at 10:04 PM, Dec 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-18 12:28:57-05

Deputies in Acadia Parish are looking for the driver who sped past a bus that was picking up a child in Morse.

It was caught on video. A KATC viewer sent us the clip of the driver ignoring the bus’s flashing lights and stop signs.

Every morning, Justin Trahan’s fiancée walks his daughter to the school bus.

One day last week, their normal morning routine nearly turned tragic.

“It hit the heart whenever [my fiancée] called me and told me what happened. And I went back on the security system and played the video over and over and over to try and figure out who it was,” said Justin Trahan, who sent the video of the car nearly missing his daughter and fiancée.

On a road divided by a median, only drivers going the same direction as a bus need to stop. But on two-lane roads, like the one in the video, drivers in both directions are required to stop.

“Luckily we take our own precautions and she holds her hand and walks her across and puts her on the bus and takes her off the bus. If it wouldn’t have been for that, it would’ve been a complete nightmare for us,” said Trahan.

Now, in light of the video, school and law enforcement officials are urging drivers to be more alert.

The sheriff’s office is working to identify the driver of the dark-colored full-sized pick-up truck. They believe it is a Dodge model.

Deputies are also stepping up patrols in the area.

“Whether we catch this person or not, I sure as heck hope it’s an eye opener for them,” said Acadia Parish Sheriff KP Gibson. “Any time [is bad], it doesn’t matter. But being this close to where a child could’ve been seriously injured or killed… and the extra patrol is really for the fact of trying to stop events moving forward as we go.”

According to a nationwide survey done by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, school bus drivers reported nearly 84,000 instances of illegal passes in a single day. That, according to the survey, points to more than 15 million violations during a 180-day school year.

Sheriff Gibson said this should serve as a lesson for other drivers.

“People just need to really need to wake up and realize what is on a school bus. It’s our children. Be patient. I mean 5 minutes is not going to kill you and if you’re five minutes late, a crash or getting stopped on a ticket is going to cost you an extra 15 minutes or maybe even longer,” he said.

And Trahan echoed those concerns.

“It’s not worth it, it’s just not worth it,” he said.

If you recognize the truck in the video or have any other information about the case, call the Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office.