CCSD touts bus driver's quick reactions in deadly crash - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

CCSD touts bus driver's quick reactions in deadly crash

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Photos from the scene show a school bus on its side after a crash on May 4, 2017. (FOX5 source) Photos from the scene show a school bus on its side after a crash on May 4, 2017. (FOX5 source)

One woman was killed and 16 students were injured in a bus crash Thursday in Las Vegas.

"I've been in this department for 24 years and I have not seen what I seen yesterday," Shannon Evans said Friday, describing the deadly bus crash. Evans is the transportation director for the Clark County School District. 

Friday, she and other members from the district held a press conference to discuss what the school district did correctly during the crash, including notifying parents within 30 minutes. 

"We train for incidents like this," Captain Ken Young of CCSD police said. 

The bus driver, Dawn Rice, was also praised for her quick work alerting emergency personnel of the crash. 

"The first words out of her mouth were 'my students, my children'," Evans said. 

The bus driver has worked for CCSD for 13 years, it wasn't her normal bus route. The district said this bus driver has also had another minor accident in a school bus, but didn't elaborate. 

The District representatives said they did not want to comment on if seat belts could have prevented 14 kids being sent to the hospital.

"We can play 'What if' and I hate to do that," Evans responded. 

For the bus driver, the district said they will work with her until she is ready to go back to work. Her first day back, she will be accompanied by another driver so she's not alone. 

Las Vegas Metro Police said they are investigating this crash. CCSD spokespeople said their focus is on the students affected.

"It may take a little while but we will build (students') trust to get back on the bus," Evans said. 

There have been 400 accidents this school year involving buses, but the district warns minor accident for them could be something as minor as hitting a cone, or bumping a side mirror. The District representatives also touched on school bus safety. Evans described the bus as the safest vehicle on the road, and said when a student sits in a bus, it's like they're in a roll cage. 

She said there is a bus driver shortage throughout the district, but that's fine, adding they will not fill positions unless they are full comfortable with the applicant. To become a school bus driver, applicants go through a 14-day training program, which includes 35 hours driving and 40 hours in a classroom. 

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