Fatal Crash Puts Spotlight On School Bus Safety

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LEE COUNTY, MISS. (WCBI) – Master Sergeant Ray Hall was assisting investigators at the scene of Wednesday’s fatal crash as they gathered evidence .  Hall says motorists need to be alert at all times, but especially at peak times.

“Sadly it takes a reminder like this that our school buses do share the highways with us, do share the roads, in morning, and evening traffic,” Hall said.

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In Mississippi, “Nathan’s Law” passed in 2011, requires motorists to stay at least 10 feet from a stopped school bus, and levies hefty fines for motorists who pass a stopped school bus, even if no child is harmed.

Hall encourages drivers to be watchful whenever they see a school bus, even if it is not loading or unloading students.

“It may have already unloaded a child that’s a half mile down the road, you pass that school bus and that child, for some unknown reason, is in the middle of the road, so it’s not just loading and unloading, when you see a school bus, you need to be alert,” he said.

Hall points out that bus drivers receive extensive safety training and they report motorists who pass stopped school buses.

Dalen Thomas is the second child in two years killed while boarding or getting off a school bus.  Seven year old Amiya Braxton was killed getting off a bus in Pontotoc County in 2016.

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