A Yelm Community Schools substitute bus driver who was involved in a collision that injured a couple of students on Monday afternoon was cited for hit-and-run, according to Yelm Police Chief Todd Stancil.
“We cited him for basically being in an accident and leaving,” Stancil told The Olympian.
“The substitute no longer works for Yelm Community Schools,” Superintendent Brian Wharton said late Tuesday afternoon. “We will continue to work with local law enforcement, depending on their decisions in this matter.”
The collision occurred at about 2:30 p.m. Monday near Northeast 103rd Avenue and Creek Street Southeast, according to Yelm Community Schools spokeswoman Teri Pablo. The bus was on a route for middle and high school students, she said.
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The driver hit a large barrier that was alongside a road, but continued to drive his route, which went into Pierce County near Roy, Stancil said.
One of the students injured in the crash got a nose bleed, which prompted other students to yell for the bus driver to pull over, Stancil said. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene, but handed the case off to Yelm Police after it was determined that the collision occurred in city limits.
“It’s unfortunate that it happened; the bus driver felt terrible for the kids who were injured on the bus,” Stancil said. “He basically said, ‘I made a poor decision. I probably should have stopped and checked on the kids earlier.’ There was no ill intent of the bus driver.”
On Tuesday, Yelm Police interviewed dozens of kids who were on the bus.
“They were scared of course,” Stancil said. “It rocked the bus pretty good.”
One student was treated by medics at the scene, Pablo said. Injuries were later reported by families of one or two other students, Stancil said.
The driver wasn’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Stancil said. He had driven for the district since March.