Concerned Parent Believes Bus Accident Could Have Been Prevented

September 1, 2004 -- Posted 10:45 p.m. CDT

Jonesboro, AR -- Flags at Jonesboro schools are flying at half staff all week in memory of second grader Brian Davis, who some described as a little boy full of life, taken away through this tragic accident. It's an accident that one South Elementary School parent feared could happen.

South parent Shanna Crowell showed us the path her son Cody takes to get home everyday after school on his bike. They live directly across the street.

"I've screamed and yelled 'Cody no', because cars are coming," said Crowell. She is upset because her son was riding his bike in front of the little boy who was struck and killed by a school bus. "5 seconds earlier it would have been mine," said Crowell.

Crowell doesn't think there is adequate patrol out in front of South School. "No one is here, no one is there, no one is out in front of the entrance," said Crowell.

She says she had called the school's principal Arthur Jackson last year with this concern."A child is going to be injured in front of this school," said Crowell, "He tells me exact words of  'I am not staffed for that'."

Principal Jackson was not available for comment, Superintendent Bill Beasley is acting as official spokesperson for the district. Beasley did not directly respond to this particular issue, but earlier at a news conference on Wednesday he had this to say: "On a bus pickup, usually there are 2 staff persons out in front there."

Beasley says 2 staffers were out in front of the school on Tuesday.  "We don't know of anything that we could have changed that would have avoided this accident at this time," said Beasley.

However Crowell says the cones and traffic watcher seen on Wednesday outside at the end of the school day have not been out there in the past.

"The indication is that we have the best possible traffic pattern that we can organize," said Beasley.