Students Investigated for Contributing to Cause of Bus Accident - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Strawberry, AR -- Brandi Hodges Reports

Students Investigated for Contributing to Cause of Bus Accident

October 19, 2006 -- Posted at 5:45 p.m. CDT

STRAWBERRY, AR -- It has been a little more than a week since a school bus rolled over in rural Lawrence County injuring several students.

We're now happy to report that all of the students are out of the hospital and back in school.

One of the students praised for helping out by calling 911 and getting other children to safety is 13-year-old Jacob Lovelady.

"There was a bunch of little kids bleeding and crying and stuff and the bus driver was knocked out, so, we got all the little kids off the bus.  Monica gave me her phone and told me to call," said Jacob Lovelady.

According to the Arkansas State Police report, the accident stems from the bus driver dealing with students who were throwing pencils.

"He was distracted by some students and looked in the mirror to deal with them, and drove off the shoulder," said Arkansas State Trooper Phillip Roark.

Now K8 News has learned from reliable sources that one of the two students involved in the disruptive behavior is Jacob Lovelady.

Thursday K8 News spoke with Hillcrest School District Superintendent Greg Crabtree who refused to say what would be done with Lovelady and the other student under investigation.

While Crabtree can't comment on what is happening now, he will be the one making the final decision.  Currently the principal is the one conducting the initial investigation.

It is important to note that all of the students, including the two being investigated, did a great job.  They worked together to get emergency officials on the scene and get all the students to safety.

"This was an accident, a very unfortunate accident, and we'll thank the good Lord everyone's ok," said Crabtree.

Crabtree also said all of the new buses that hillcrest purchases from here on out will have cameras to record students and discourage disturbing behavior.

Also on Thursday the Arkansas State Police released a statement saying that the bus driver, Danny Foley, is being charged with careless and prohibited driving.

Foley is back at work, but it is unclear when he will return to driving a bus for the school.

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