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DIGGING DEEPER: How often are bus drivers at fault in crashes?

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) — On Monday afternoon, a Fort Wayne Community Schools (FWCS) bus carrying two students crashed into three other cars, trapping one man in his pick-up. While police have not yet cited any of the drivers involved, ABC21 is Digging Deeper – asking how often are collisions the fault of the bus driver?

Over a 10-year period, from 2008 to November 2018, there were 1,166 incidents involving a FWCS bus – from very minor to serious accidents – that’s more than 120 incidents every year.

Of those 1,166 incidents, just over 50 percent were determined to be the fault of another driver – meaning 49 percent of those incidents were of undetermined fault or caused by a bus driver’s error.

ABC21 obtained the data as part of a public records request following a separate bus crash last fall.

On the morning of Sept. 25, 2018, a FWCS bus driver hit the gas pedal instead of the brakes. The bus, carrying more than 20 students headed to Washington Center Elementary, skidded off Wallen Road near Coldwater Road. The bus jumped a curb, stopping in a brush. Three students, as well as the driver, suffered minor injuries in the crash. The driver and one of the students were taken to a local hospital for treatment.

FWCS has 197 buses and 44 activity buses in its fleet. Those buses run 1,145 routes, covering 145 square miles, traveling more than 3 million miles every year.

Alexis Shear

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