Parents react to Mount Pleasant bus crash communication lag - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Parents react to Mount Pleasant bus crash communication lag


A school bus crash has some Mount Pleasantparents angry about how the school district handled the situation.

The incident happened at around 4 p.m. yesterday afternoon when a pickup truck crashed with the bus on Highway271 and the south access road to Interstate 30.

Mount Pleasant ISD officials saya communication breakdown is the reason parents weren't told about the wreck,but only for a short period of time, not the 45 minutes that some areclaiming.

"My son was limping, and the right sideof his face was bright red from where he had slammed into the seat in front ofhim," says parent Kelly Tosh, whose 10 year-old-son was on the bus when itwas hit.

Tosh said she was nevernotified about the accident. "Panic. I went into panic mode. I wasnot contacted about the accident, and still have not been contacted," shesays.

School officials say the elapsed time wasshort, but there was a delay in communications to notify parents.

The bus is contracted out to Durhambus services, and the superintendent says that is where the delay originated.

"For 45 minutes they were not notifiedthat their child was even involved in an accident. Somewhere in the 5 to 10minute range elapsed from the time the accident actually occurred until thetime the transportation director was notified. And another 5 minutes before wewere notified," says Mount Pleasant ISD superintendent Judd Marshall.

It was not just a fender bender; the driverof the pickup truck ran through a red light and tried to jump in front of thebus and collided with the front fender.

"I can't accept the explanation of acommunications breakdown," says Tosh.

Though the children were not hurt, Marshalladmits time is crucial in any incident like this.

"The safety of our kids is number oneand I want to make sure we're notified immediately. To us and obviously theparents as well." Marshall says.

Little consolation to angry parents.

"We entrust our children to them; theyhave a obligation to notify us in a timely manner," Tosh says.

"We just need to do a better job ofcommunication. That's the concern I have. Whether its 5 or 10 minutes, parentsneed to know as soon as they can. We can do a better job next time," saysMarshall.

The driver of the pickup truck that crashedwith the bus was given a ticket for not having a drivers license.

Officers say she could also beticketed for running a red light and causing the crash.

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