Courtesy of:  Betty Yu and Brian Hamacher @

A dozen students were hospitalized after a school bus collided with a car in Opa-locka Monday morning, officials said.

The accident happened in the area of Northwest 37th Avenue and Langley Road when the bus was rear-ended by the car, the Miami-Dade Fire Department said.

A total of 13 people were injured, including twelve students and the bus driver, officials said. The students were taken to nearby hospitals with minor injuries.

The bus had been on its way to Palm Springs Middle School in Hialeah when the crash happened, school board officials said.  The bus driver refused to be taken to the hospital. Two other students who were on the bus weren't injured and were taken to school.

The driver, who didn't want to be identified, said she felt a jolt when the car hit, and said the students were screaming and a little shaken up.

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Courtesy of:  Andre Senior @ - Channel 10

Mulberry, Florida - A Polk Co. School district bus driver was among the 3 people who were killed in an early morning crash in Mulberry.

The accident happened at the intersection of Coronet Road and Sheppard Road at around 2:40 Sunday morning.

Dorothy Operhall was traveling in a red Chrysler Sebring, along with her boyfriend Leonard Simmons, Melina Helbig and Robert Helbig, the only person to survive the crash.

According to police, the crash happened when a GMC pickup truck, driven by Edward McCoy, ran a stop sign, slammed into the Sebring - causing both vehicles to flip upside down.

"Polk County School Board has lost a valuable employee and we're going to miss her," said Lilly Wasp, Operhall's co-worker.

The 56-year-old is survived by her three children and five grandchildren.

"My grandma was a happy person. She was my bus driver and she loved all her grandchildren a lot," said Kiersten Johnson, Operhall's Granddaughter.

All of the occupants of the Sebring were wearing their seatbelts. The occupants of the Sebring are related to each other - two of the people in the car are siblings (brother and sister) but at this time we are unclear which two. 
The Helbigs were here visiting from Pennsylvania. They were returning to the Operhall/Simmons home from the Hard Rock Café in Tampa when the crash occurred. 

Charges against McCoy are pending final toxicology results and the medical condition of the surviving victim. 

The roadways were closed for about eight hours, and have been re-opened.  

The investigation is ongoing.

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Courtesy of:  By Sara Catalinotto @

A “Rally to Save Busing” was well received by lunch hour crowds in downtown Brooklyn on April 19. The citywide group Parents to Improve School Transportation (PIST NYC) chose the site where the Department of Education — controlled by billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg — has its contracts office.

Flyers for the event charged authorities with disregarding the needs of school bus riders before, during and since the strike by Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 this winter. Some 8,800 drivers and attendants struck for a month when contract bids went out without an Employee Protection Provision that would maintain seniority hiring.

At the rally, busing advocates gave out copies of their School Bus Bill of Rights proposal, along with copies of an April 12 New York Daily News column by Juan Gonzalez that exposed how the city’s own lawyers are now arguing in court that EPP is not illegal. This implies that the mayor knowingly lied when he insisted that the union wanted something illegal in the school bus bids.

While some parents took to the microphone, others gathered contact information from interested passersby and shop owners or spoke to reporters. The event was also recorded for the upcoming film “1181: A Documentary.”

Brooklyn’s P368 Parent Association President Celia Green, mother of four current or former bus riders, denounced the school system’s failure to conduct mandated bus evacuation drills. Her schools suffered extremely low attendance during the strike that Bloomberg provoked.

Bronx PIST leader Milagros Cancel, whose three sons depend on busing for their education, spoke in Spanish about the need to organize against violations of the civil rights of students with disabilities, including violations of their right to adequate transportation.

Other protesters included grandparents, a retired teacher with the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE) Caucus of the United Federation of Teachers, and a 10-year-old mini-wagon rider.

Joining them was a Brooklyn school bus driver with over 20 years’ experience whose company gave her job to a strikebreaker. She is one of 76 workers who are still locked out two months after the strike ended.

ATU Local 1181 has taken up the lockouts with the National Labor Relations Board and has another NLRB case against the school bus contractors’ recent unilateral imposition of lowered wages, benefits and hours. Drivers and attendants had their spring break checks withheld; beginning April 15, paychecks were expected to be 7.5 percent lower than before.

As Manhattan mom Madeline Sinor said on News 12 TV, “They are cutting, to the
bone, the wages of trained, excellent workers who are so important.” The union
is pressing for good faith negotiations. DOE has not commented on these
developments, although it is the ultimate contractor.

The message of the rally was that school bus families plan to fight to
prevent such a vital service for students from being downgraded to a part-time,
high-turnover, poverty-level job. For more information, contact or 347-504-3310.

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Courtesy of:  Dee Riggs @ The Wenatchee World 

LEAVENWORTH — A school bus driver who drove over a railroad crossing in Dryden Friday morning as warning arms were coming down, has been placed on administrative leave.

No one was injured. “However, children may have been frightened and concerned with the warning bar hitting the bus and breaking off as the driver accelerated the bus to quickly get past the tracks,” Cascade School Superintendent Steve McKenna wrote in an email to parents.

The driver of Bus No. 5 on Route No. 10 “did see the train down the tracks and moved the bus forward across the tracks before the train arrived at the crossing. It was not a close call and the train did not come close to the bus. 

McKenna declined to release the name of the bus driver. They will be on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office, McKenna wrote.

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Courtesy of:  Erin Kourkounis @

A group of Santa Rosa school bus drivers is expected to bring concerns about bus safety and working conditions at Durham School Services to the Santa Rosa School Board Thursday.

During the board’s meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, members will decide whether to grant Durham a five-year contract to operate district transportation. 

In a forum organized by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters union last week in Bagdad, Durham drivers in Milton, Pace and Navarre aired their concerns about workplace safety. 

Their concerns ranged from fluid leaks to mold on buses and drivers going to work sick because they cannot afford to take time off. Some drivers say they are yelled at or ignored by supervisors when they bring up concerns. 

About 210 Santa Rosa school bus drivers and monitors work for Durham, the second-largest school bus company in the country and a subsidiary of National Express Group PLC, a multinational transportation company based in the United Kingdom.

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Courtesy of:  Lynn Moore @

Drivers reminded of school bus laws in wake of serious accident (video)

MUSKEGON, MI -- Drivers may think they know traffic laws regarding school buses.

But after a student was critically injured Thursday while trying to board a Coopersville school bus Thursday, this is as good a time as any for a refresher course.

To help drivers understand rules when approaching or traveling behind school buses, the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District made an instructional video last year.

It reminds drivers that they may pass a school bus when it has its yellow flashers on -- lights that are activated 200 feet before a bus stop. But once those flashers turn red, drivers must stop until they are turned off. That goes for drivers approaching buses in the opposite direction unless they are on a roadway with a center median.

On Thursday, a 15-year-old student was struck as he crossed the street to board a Coopersville school bus in Ottawa County's Wright Township. The driver failed to stop for the bus's red flashers, saying she had thought they were still yellow.

The teen, Jovanni Viveros-Villa, was taken to Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in critical condition.

Email Lynn Moore at or follow her on Twitter: @LynnSMoore

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Courtesy of:  Holly Pennebaker @

ACWORTH, Ga. -- Cherokee County Sheriff's Deputies are looking for more information on an incident where a man exposed himself to a child near a school bus stop on Thursday in Acworth.

According to Lt. Jay Baker, deputies responded to the Twin Pines subdivision off Kellogg Creek Road around 4:15 that afternoon. Deputies say a man exposed himself to a 10-year-old girl just after she got off her school bus.

On the scene, the child told deputies that after the man exposed himself, he made inappropriate comments to her. The girl then screamed and ran home.

Deputies searched the area, but were unable to find the suspect.  The man is a heavy-set white male with gray and white hair. He was driving an older model white foreign-made sedan.

On the scene, at least two witnesses said they heard the girl scream and saw he suspect's vehicle

Deputies ask anyone with information to call 911.

NOTE:  Another similar incident occurred about a year ago, in the same neighborhood.

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Ta'Miya Watson
Hundreds say farewell to girl struck, killed by Bibb County school bus
Hundreds of people gather at a Macon church Saturday to say farewell to the girl who was killed after being struck by a Bibb County School bus earlier in the week.

Every pew was full and people stood in the back to say good-bye to Ta’Miya La’Shae Watson. The Agnes Barden Elementary student died after the rear tire of a school bus struck her on Bloomfield and Virginia Drive, directly across the street from her school and just feet from the front door of her home.  An accident that the family said is devastating.

“We can try our best to keep our head up and stay strong but you know when someone loses their child, you can't get over that,” Watson’s cousin Darrious Watson said. “That's hard to get over."

Teachers along with family members recalled stories of the young girl’s life. After the ceremony, Watson was buried at Macon Memorial Park.

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HARRELLS, N.C. - The driver of a logging truck who hit and killed a child exiting a school bus now faces driving while impaired charges, according to the State Highway Patrol.

A child was hit and killed by a logging truck near Harrells in Sampson County Tuesday afternoon.

A Sampson County school bus was dropping off a child on U.S. 421 at approximately 3:30 p.m. when a tractor trailer hauling logs passed the stopped bus. The bus was stopped with all emergency equipment activated, Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Jeff Gordon said.

The tractor trailer hit 7-year-old Alyiah Morgan. Alyiah was pronounced dead while being transported to Sampson Regional Medical Center in Clinton.

The driver and tractor trailer were located near Autryville and taken into custody, Gordon said. The driver has been identified as Johnny Allen Spell, 37, of Bud Spell Lane in Roseboro.

Spell has been charged with driving while impaired, felony hit-and-run, involuntary manslaughter and passing a stopped school bus. He is being held in the Sampson County Jail under a $200,000 bond.

Morgan was in the first grade Union Elementary School in Clinton. Linda Carr, principal of Union, told WNCN that the school has several grieving students and staff and the school is providing opportunities for them to talk and share. Union has professional counselors on hand today.

Carr said they live in a great community that is coming together to support everyone.

Passing stopped school buses appears to be a rising problem in North Carolina. The State Highway Patrol conducted "Operation Stop Arm" Oct. 15-19, when it followed 1,000 school buses. The Patrol issued more than 8,000 traffic citations and charged 16 motorists with passing a stopped school bus.

A Harnett County middle school student was hit and killed getting off a school bus in October.

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A girl, 15, claims she was assaulted and had her pants pulled down Monday by boys on her school bus.

Channel 11's Amy Marcinkiewicz reported that the victim attends Central Valley High School and is scared to go to school, and until the bullying stops, her mother said she’d not sending her daughter back.

According to the victim’s mother, one boy on the bus grabbed her daughter and pulled her pants down while another boy recorded the assault on his cell phone.

The victim told Channel 11 that this was not the first time the boys assaulted her.

The girl’s mother told Marcinkiewicz that the school district previously promised that the boys would not be back on the bus. Now, she wants answers, and is concerned about what could happen next if action is not taken.

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