Woman Charged After Child Hit By Car At School Bus Stop

Wednesday, November 28th 2018, 10:18 am
By: News 9

The Washington County Sheriff's Office says a woman is facing charges after a boy was hit by a car while boarding a Tennessee school bus.

The sheriff's office says Crystal Buchanan, 41, of Jonesborough, has been charged with felony reckless endangerment and illegal passing of a school bus or failure to yield to a stopped school bus.

According to WCSO, the child was transported to Niswonger Children's Hospital in Johnson City. 


"Well, you're horrified when you know that one of your students has been struck by an automobile  - that honestly, the driver should have known better," said Jarrod Adams, special projects manager at Washington County Schools. "Knowing that the bus had come to a complete stop, that the red lights were flashing, the stop sign was deployed, and still, the driver finds it necessary to go around the bus. It's horrific! It's frustrating because kids are at risk and one split-second decision could ruin not only the driver's life but could cause a student to lose their life."

The child's condition is not known at this time, but Washington County Schools Superintendent Bill Flanary said the child was taken to the hospital "as a precaution." 

School officials say that is a good sign that he will most likely be okay. A deputy on the scene told News Channel 11 the child was alert and talking as he was being transported to the hospital. 

It happened on Highway 81S near Jim Towne Road shortly after 6:30 Tuesday morning when the young boy was crossing the road from his house to get on the school bus when he was struck by the passing car, a Mitsubishi Lancer.  

The sheriff's office says the school bus was stopped in the road with its stop sign and red lights flashing when the boy was hit. 

Other students were on board the bus when the child was hit.  The bus transported them to school.

The sheriff's office says this is an active investigation, and investigators are currently talking with the driver of the car that hit the child.

Investigators say the school bus driver was not at fault.  

Adams says the number one complaint among Washington County bus drivers is people running their stops signs. 

"It's a danger to them and you know I feel really bad for the student, I feel bad for the bus driver because you know she is horrified that she's done everything she's supposed to do to keep the children safe and still somebody you know puts that student in harm's way'" said Adams. 

Buchanan is out of jail after posting bail of $1,000 and is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday afternoon at 1:30 p.m.   

“I offer my prayers and support to this young man, his family, and friends, as well as the students and bus driver who witnessed this unfortunate accident," said State Representative Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough). "I've prioritized school bus safety for the students of our community throughout my time serving in our General Assembly, and my colleagues and I will continue to fight for additional resources during the upcoming legislative session in order to ensure similar incidents are avoided in the future.”  

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