A vehicular crash is often caused by distracting driving. The driver of a school bus was suspended sans pay last Tuesday as authorities continued delving into the reason why the bus he was operating reeled inside a cemetery prior to smashing a house in North Philadelphia last Monday afternoon.
The crash injured four students from the elementary schools – two from Henry Houston School and two from Henry Charles School. The students were between the ages of nine to 13. Ye injured were delivered to the Hospital of St. Christopher where they were treated for minor 8injuries as they were released soon after. According to the Fire Department of Philadelphia the Department, the school bus belonged to the Durham School Services. It is the vehicle identified to have hit a brick house located at the intersection of the W Cambria and N 9th Streets just adjacent to Fairhill Cemetery.
Witnesses reported that the bus driver was talking on his cell phone at the time of the crash; however the operator denied the report.
The driver was adamant in saying that he was not using his phone prior to the mishap. “He said he was not on his cell phone at the time of the accident, said spokesperson Dan Piorilli of Durham School Services to the press.
Due to the ongoing investigation, both police and the bus company office did not give out the identity of the 40-year-old driver’s name. But according to Fiorilli, the driver has been with am employee of Durham for around eight months handling regular routes.
But some witnesses confirmed that they saw the driver talking on his cell phone for around one block while the vehicle was able to sideswipe several cars, hit a metal gate and finally crashed into the brick house with a deafening bang.
Myra Haynes, one of the witnesses, was steadfast in her observation that the driver was on his cell phone and even as the mishap was happening, he could still see him holding the cell phone.
The company claimed that the last phone call was made at 2:40 p.m. – which was about 30 minutes before the crash pccurred. The next call was made on the cell phone was after the accident.
The driver gave a good reason why he swerved the bus which was to avoid hitting a child; and in so doing, he lost control of his vehicle.
Fiorelli said that they are still looking into facts to substantiate both claims. He continued that the investigators will view the video of camera on the bus to figure out exactly what happened. Two statements were at odds: witnesses claiming that the driver of the school bus used his cell phone prior to the crash and the driver claiming that he did not.
The driver was very forceful in denying that he was distracted on his mobile phone while behind the wheel of the bus; presently, he was asked to goon leave pending investigation.
Some witnesses saw the 40-year-old bus driver using his cell phone even during the incident; that was at same time that the side- swiped some cars until it rolled through a cemetery. Meanwhile, Durham School Services believed the driver’s claim that he was not on his cell phone and the phone records from his provider backed up that statement. It was on record that the driver received a call 30 minutes before the crash and the next call was made after the crash.
The bus driver said that he had to swerve the bus to avoid hitting a child and after that he lost control of the vehicle. An employee of the company for almost a year, he was handling regular routes.
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Source: NBC Philadelphia Com