The trial for the driver of a school bus that was responsible for the death of one child and injuries of 19 others began on Monday. The driver is charged with one count of second degree manslaughter as well as assault and 19 counts of endangerment.
The bus accident occurred on Highway 62 in Cunningham, Kentucky in May of last year. On Monday when the trial began, the family of the deceased child came to court to hear witness’ testimony. The State says that the driver’s medication played a role in the crash and that her medication caused her to lose control of the bus. The driver’s blood was found to have two narcotic drugs and a controlled substance at the time of the crash.
The defense, however, says that the driver’s medication was not a factor in the crash but what happened that day was simply an accident. They go on to say that the driver took the medicine just as she was supposed to and under the direction of her doctors. After the crash, the driver complied with letting medical workers take a blood sample.
Testimony in the case is expected to last a few days and the jury is expected to hear the case on Thursday. The case will also begin on Thursday and is expected to last for only three days.
The school bus was on its way back from a field trip when it began to drift off of the shoulder. The driver corrected too much causing the bus to flip where it then landed in a ditch on the opposite side of the road. 1 student perished in the accident and 19 others were injured. The bus had an onboard computer log system which the defense will have full access to. The defense will also have full access to state toxicology reports on the driver.
The driver’s driving record was also brought up and it was noted that the she had also been in an accident in 2008. The driver was quoted as telling someone that her medication had changed its effect on her and she probably should not have been operating a bus while taking the medication. These pieces of information will be brought up against her to show a “pattern of behavior”.
The defense believes that she should not serve jail time for this accident but should accept responsibility for her actions.