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Student drop-offs and safety

Posted: Thursday, Mar 28th, 2013

My name is Ernie Kawa. I was a bus driver for the Pinedale school district. Last Friday, I was terminated after 10 years of service.

The day before, I was returning from Lyman after an activity. I was asked by the coach if I could drop off a student who lives at the Cora Y. I said that we could drop off at the Jehovah Witness church parking lot. After dropping off this student, I ran over a rock, damaging the bus. The students were returned safely; my boss and the sheriff’s department were notified. I took a breathalyzer (0.0) and urine test. A report was filed.

The next morning, I drove my morning route. When I returned, I was filling out my accident report, and Doug Northrup told me Vern McAdams wanted to see me. Vern asked Doug about the stops being made to drop off students and asked if that practice had stopped. Doug responded that it had been brought up many times, and the practice was no longer going on. We went into the barn to see the damage. After a short period of time, Vern told me I needed to turn in my key card and my key.

Was I the only one to ever have an accident? No. I asked other drivers if we were no longer dropping off or picking up students during activity trips. The people I talked to said nothing was brought up and the practice was still going on. It has been a common practice to drop off and pick up students at various locations that were safe places to stop. The locations are the Daniel post office, Boulder store, Daniel junction, Jehovah Witness church, a gas station in LaBarge, to name a few. If you are aware of this practice still going on, I would appreciate it if you would contact Vern McAdams, or any of the board members. I’m sure they would like to know if the information Vern received from Doug Northrup was accurate

For the complete article see the 03-29-2013 issue.

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