Palm Beach County School District blames 'hero' driver for runaway school bus, parents disagree
Investigators say brakes, gas hit at same time
6:37 PM, Sep 16, 2013
BOCA RATON, Fla. -- - The Palm Beach County School District is blaming "driver error" for a late August incident involving a Boca Raton school bus from Spanish River High School that sped out of control down the wrong side of a busy road.
Originally, many speculated that the brakes on the bus had stopped working.
Nearly a month later, the district is pointing the finger at the very person many parents feel saved multiple lives and call a hero. The bus driver.
"I can't imagine what they're saying has happened. I can't imagine her doing it. Someone who cares about the children so much? Doesn't make sense," said parent Julia Hanapole.
District spokesperson Jason Shockley issued a statement on the investigation.
"It appears that the gas and brake were inadvertently hit at the same time, which caused the steering to lock," wrote Shockley.
Hanapole and other parents feel the district is using the driver to dodge a bigger issue.
"It's much easier to blame the driver then actually admit fault," said Hanapole.
Some parents point to bus safety and feel there is a possibility the school bus fleet is old and outdated.
When asked about the concerns of parents surrounding vehicle quality, a spokesperson said all the information available was released.
Hanapole wants the situation investigated further.
"They're my children and I'm trusting them to Palm Beach County public schools every day and I'd like to know that they're safe," said Hanapole.
The Palm Beach County School District said the driver involved is still employed and is being sent for additional training.