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Douglass bus driver could face charges

Published On: Dec 24 2013 01:57:49 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 06 2013 06:57:06 AM CST
WICHITA, Kan. -

Weeks before a school bus accident near Douglass, the driver was told not to go over water covered bridges. That's new information from the lead investigator.

He's ready to turn over the case to the Butler County Attorney, which could lead to charges.

The driver, Morris Peterson, could face either child endangerment or reckless driving charges. The county attorney will make the final call.

It's a sight many in the Douglass district will never forget. A school bus on it's side in fast flowing water with ten children and a driver inside. All get out okay, only a few suffered minor injuries.

"The kids are the heros here," said Master Trooper Brian Grunder. "They started the whole process by doing what was right."

Master Trooper Grunder says those kids have also been helpful in the investigation.

"They remember starting onto the bridge," Grunder said. "They felt a big jolt and a loud bang noise and then the bus tipped over.

Grunder believes the water helped push the bus onto it's side, he also cites driver error.

His investigation revealed Peterson went to a driver's meeting weeks before the accident, and was specifically told not to drive into situations like this.

"One of the items that they covered was low water bridges and not to drive on them if they had water flowing across them," Grunder said. "The driver was in attendance at that meeting."

That may be a key factor in determining if charges will be filed in this case. We'll keep you posted on what the Butler County Attorney decides.

The school district has suspended the driver pending the results of the investigation.

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