Video of School Bus Making Illegal U-Turn Goes Viral, Prompts Investigation

By Zachary Stieber

Video footage of a school bus in Oregon making an illegal U-turn on May 16 went viral on Facebook, prompting a response from district officials.

The bus belongs to Roseburg Public Schools.

After the illegal action was taken, someone reported it to First Student Transportation Services, which the district contracts to transport students.

Officials at the company said in a statement that they were investigating the incident.

District officials said they believe the company will ensure a similar move doesn’t happen again.

“Roseburg Public Schools is aware of today’s situation involving a school bus making a U-turn on a local freeway onramp. The incident has been reported to First Student Transportation Services, which is the District’s contracted provider for student transportation. First Student management has notified the District that the incident is under investigation. Roseburg Public Schools takes the safety of students very seriously and feels confident that First Student will work to ensure this type of incident does not happen again,” the district said in a statement obtained by KCBY.

Superintendent Lee Paterson said that the bus had only one student on board at the time.

Denny Austin, head of transportation for Roseburg Public Schools, told KEZI that all buses have two surveillance cameras on board and footage can be reviewed while probing incidents such as the U-turn.

He also said that bus drivers are usually good drivers.

“It takes a very special person to sit with their back to 60 kids and then stay focused on what’s happening on the road in front of them,” Austin said. “Drivers are also people, so anything you see someone doing on the road, off the road or approaching the road could happen with a school bus.”

The video was put on Facebook but was later taken down by the woman who posted it.

First Student later said that the driver was being disciplined but wasn’t being fired.

“The driver is a long-term employee and has a strong driving record,” a First Student spokesperson told The News-Review. “Certainly it was a mistake and the driver has been disciplined and is certainly undergoing retraining right now.”

The district is currently in a five-year contract with the company. It started in mid-2016.

U-Turn Preceded Grisly Crash

An investigation last year following a grisly crash in New Jersey found that a school bus driver was trying to make a U-turn when the bus crashed with a dump truck.

The crash injured 43 of the 45 people on board. One student and one teacher died, reported the North Jersey Record.

Prosecutors later charged the driver, Hudy Muldrow Sr., with two counts of death-by-auto, the Morristown Daily Record reported. Each count carried up to 10 years in prison.

According to a criminal complaint, Muldrow made a sudden turn that led to the accident.

“As part of this maneuver, Hudy Muldrow turned Bus #2 so that it was positioned in an almost-perpendicular direction in relation to the lanes of travel on Route 80 Westbound,” the affidavit said.

Records showed he’d had his license suspended 14 times since he first obtained driving privileges in 1975.

Describing the moment of the crash, an 11-year-old student told the Record: “People were screaming and they were like hanging from their seat belts.”

“We’re thankful to God that everything was OK,” added Pavle Ancevski, the father of student Theo Ancevski. “I hope the other kids are OK, because we have no information about them. A couple of kids we saw” at the hospital “were good, but it’s tough for every family.”