Unfortunately, a local elementary student suffered a head wound and the Bentonville School bus driver is on paid leave as school officials investigate the incident that occurred Monday of this week.
An elementary student who attended Cooper Elementary School and eight other students were getting off the bus somewhere on Oxford Lane this past Monday. Donald Espeseth, age 75, was driving the school bus.
Allegedly, the child who was injured bent down below the extended safety arm and the bus driver could not see the child. However, the rule for bus drivers is that bus drivers are required to count the number of children exiting the bus and recount them before driving off.
When dealing with children, there is no room for mistakes. Pupil safety during transportation is the number one priority. No matter the number children exiting the bus, the driver should always count and recount because that is the rule.
Apparently, someone did not follow the rules on this day and the moving bus passed over the boy. Something from the bus, perhaps the transmission, struck the child’s head.
For some reason, the school district did not test Espeseth for drugs or alcohol following the accident even though that is protocol. Instead they are testing him two days later on Wednesday.
The school district’s bus fleet has 110 buses on our highways each day carrying hundreds and hundreds of children. Safety is number one priority for the district.
For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Airplane, Cruise, Bus, and Other Mass Transit Accidents.