Houston County Board of Education releases statement on fatal bus crash

Houston County Board of Education releases statement on fatal bus crash

The Houston County Board of Education sent WMAZ an e-mail statement Tuesday afternoon regarding the fatal bus crash that happened on Forest Park Drive on Monday. 

Houston County Schools rep Beth McLaughlin says the superintendent is not doing on-camera interviews because they are working to make sure all students and families involved in the crisis are OK.

McLaughlin says students and families affected are their first priority. 

Here’s what the board of education has confirmed so far.

The victim, 6-year-old Arlana Hayes was a first grader at Parkwood Elementary.

The bus number involved is 0009, and the driver is Shalita Harris.

The release from the Board of Education says Harris has only been with the school district since October 30th, 2017.

According to Warner Robins Assistant Police Chief, John Wagner, Harris had no outstanding driving “issues” in Warner Robins prior to the accident.

At this time, Wagner says Warner Robins police are not pressing charges.

Right now, the district is following “protocol” and will conduct an accident review once the police department has concluded it’s investigation.

The release from the school district also included the following statement from Houston County Superintendent, Dr. Mark Scott:

"It is with the deepest sorrow that we confirm the death of one of our Parkwood Elementary students.  Our thoughts and prayers are with this family during this sad and difficult time.  We also offer condolences to our Parkwood students and staff members, especially the child’s classmates and teachers.  Our district’s crisis team joined school counselors today, to talk with any children who have questions or just want to talk.  School psychologists and counselors are available to help children and staff deal with their grief.

 

Our priority is first and foremost with this family, as well as all of the children who were involved in the bus accident.  The accident is still under investigation, and at this time, we have no other details to share.

 

I would like to thank the Warner Robins Police and Houston County Sheriff’s officers who responded to the scene, along with other first responders.  They were professional and caring of our young children and we greatly appreciate all that they did to help the students.  Many thanks, also, to the hospital staff who took care of the children who went to the hospital.  We ask our community to continue to lift up and support our school families affected by this tragedy."

© 2018 WMAZ-TV


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