Marana bus driver on leave after student swept away in wash - Tucson News Now

Marana bus driver on leave after student swept away in wash

Each Marana bus driver is given a list of the students' designated routes and bus stops. (Source: KOLD News 13) Each Marana bus driver is given a list of the students' designated routes and bus stops. (Source: KOLD News 13)
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  • Students on bus speak out after classmate swept away in wash

    Students on bus speak out after classmate swept away in wash

    Thursday, August 24 2017 11:31 AM EDT2017-08-24 15:31:04 GMT
    (Source: Tucson News Now)(Source: Tucson News Now)

    "They were on the other side of the wash. The girl was down. We couldn't tell what her condition was, but by then there was an adult there trying to help," said Christian Parra, a Marana High School sophomore who was on the bus.

    "They were on the other side of the wash. The girl was down. We couldn't tell what her condition was, but by then there was an adult there trying to help," said Christian Parra, a Marana High School sophomore who was on the bus.

MARANA, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Marana Unified School District officials said their bus driver did not fully follow proper policies and procedures prior to an incident on Wednesday, Aug. 23, in which a girl was swept away in a wash, according to the initial investigation.

Fellow Marana High School students on the bus told Tucson News Now that two classmates, a senior boy and a freshman girl, decided to get off a stop early on the bus route and walk home.

The Drexel Heights Fire District responded to an unconscious person call in the San Joaquin Road and Neal Avenue area, in the far west side of Tucson. Crews arrived and found the girl had fallen in the wash and was knocked unconscious after she hit her head. She was pulled from the water by bystanders.

Tamara Crawley, a spokeswoman for the district, said their policy states that "the student needs to be dropped off at their designated bus stop, or a bus stop pre-approved by a parent or guardian, or a parent or guardian needs to be present to remove the student from the bus."

Crawley said the students involved in the incident got off the bus prior to their designated bus stop.

"[They] exited the bus with other students prior to the bus pulling up to the flooded wash," Crawley said.

Crawley said that the bus continued on its normal route, before stopping at the flooded road. The driver pulled over and communicated with dispatch to find an alternate route. Per policy, the parties agreed that the best decision was to wait for the water to subside.

"The bus did not enter the flooded wash at any time," Crawley said. She said no other students exited at the flooded wash, and that the driver followed procedure correctly at that time, by not releasing students.

The two students passed the bus, and tried to walk through the wash on their way home.

"This is a serious incident, and it is being treated seriously," Crawley said. "We have to review the entire situation, including drop-off procedures when those students exited the bus, to ensure that we did not put students in danger."

The bus driver involved in the incident has been "assigned to home" - placed on paid administrative leave. Crawley said. The driver has been with the district since March 2015, and has no prior incidents.

The students' designated routes and bus stops are on a list, given to drivers at the beginning of the year, and shows the bus stop associated with each child, Crawley said. The bus driver involved in Wednesday's incident has a list in the bus of assigned routes and stops.

Despite hitting her head, the girl's condition was stabilized at Banner University Medical Center on Wednesday night, according to Drexel Heights Fire District officials.

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