If you have school-aged children who rely on bus transportation to get to and from their classes each day, you have a reasonable expectation that they’ll be transported safely and on time. The job of a school bus driver isn’t always easy, but those who take it on know that children, parents and school administrators are counting on them to be responsible. When they shirk that responsibility, there are usually negative consequences.

A school bus driver in northern Pennsylvania who was involved in an accident while on the job is currently facing charges for her actions right before and after the crash. The 47-year-old driver for the Wyalusing School District was driving students home from school on the afternoon of Nov. 12 when she lost control of the bus while making a turn in Wilmot Township. The bus left the road and skidded down a 7-foot embankment, coming to rest in a field.

Many of the children suffered injuries in the accident, which police authorities later said was caused by driving at an unsafe speed. But police said that instead of calling for assistance and checking on the students’ injuries, the bus driver instead drove the bus away from the accident scene with the children inside.

Emergency responders soon located the bus and spoke with the driver; they said even then, she refused treatment for the injured children. It wasn’t until the parents of the 40 students on board were contacted that the injured children were taken to be checked out by a doctor. Fortunately, the children suffered only minor scrapes, bumps and bruises, but the driver failed to determine that the injuries weren’t more serious. The driver is now facing misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of children and leaving the scene of an accident. She’s also accused of driving at an unsafe speed.

Had any of the children suffered major injuries, the driver might have found herself the defendant in a civil personal injury lawsuit. Instead, she’s been suspended from her job as the investigation continues. It could be a while before she’s entrusted with the responsibility of taking children to and from school again.

Source: The Daily Review, “School bus crash leads to charges, Penny Gorens accused of endangering welfare of children,” James Loewenstein, Dec. 6, 2012