Important Message from Superintendent Belfield
May 4, 2018
I am writing to inform you of a minor bus incident that occurred yesterday afternoon, May 3, 2018 at approximately 2:40 PM. One of our buses arrived at LaFayette Jr/Sr High School after picking up students from Grimshaw Elementary for afternoon dismissal. The driver shut off the bus and attempted to engage the parking brake. The driver believed that the parking brake was fully engaged and left the driver’s seat to perform the end of trip safety checks and turn off the child find reminder alarm, which is located in the rear of the vehicle. The driver did not realize that the parking brake was not fully engaged and the bus began to roll forward. As the bus rolled forward at a very slow pace, the mirror from the bus struck the bus door window of another bus breaking the glass.Thankfully, there were no students in the vicinity of either vehicle, other than the students already on board when the bus began to roll forward.
One of our Onondaga County Sheriff deputies was standing outside monitoring dismissal and witnessed the incident. Also, the Jr/Sr High Principal immediately responded to the incident. Out of an abundance of caution, the Jr/Sr High Principal and Onondaga County Sheriff deputy checked with all students on both buses to make sure that there were no injuries. Our Transportation Supervisor also responded and provided a replacement vehicle and made sure that there were no student injuries. Students from the damaged bus boarded the replacement vehicle and were transported home with only a minor delay.
Here are three important items that I want you to be aware of:
The students involved handled this incident in a remarkable manner. Students remained calm and followed the directions of all adults who responded. I would also like to commend our staff who were involved for how they remained focused on the needs of our students.
There were no reported injuries at the time of the incident and there were no students in the vicinity of either vehicle, other than the passengers on board when the bus began to roll.
We are performing a full check of all safety functions on both vehicles and reviewing our safety protocols with staff to help avoid any future incidents of a similar nature.
We feel very fortunate that there were no reported injuries at the time of the incident and that both vehicles sustained only minor damage. If you have any questions regarding this incident, please feel free to contact me at 315-677-9728.
Superintendent of Schools