Mom concerned officials didn't make contact after school bus accident

News 12 This Morning/Tuesday April 29, 2014

RICHMOND CO., Ga. (WRDW)--It was late Thursday evening when Amanda Smith's 12-year-old son, JaQuay, started to complain about being in pain.

"My son complained of wrist, shoulder, back pain and a headache," she said. "I gave him an Advil."

But she says the medicine wasn't working.

That's when she asked JaQuay what he'd been up to during the day at his school, Rollins Elementary.

"Did you do P.E. or anything?" she said she asked him. "He said, 'No, mom. Our bus was in a wreck.' I was like, 'What?'"

Smith says the bus normally drops her son off in front of her home around 3:30 pm, so when 4:30 pm rolled around, she started to get worried."

"But no, when I called the school they just told me that the bus was running behind," she said.

Deputy Superintendent Tim Spivey wasn't able to talk to me on camera, but confirms JaQuay's bus was involved in what he calls a minor accident Thursday afternoon.

He tells News 12 a truck hit the stop sign on the side of the bus, but never actually hit the bus. He says emergency services came to the scene and determined there were no injuries. And, he says the transportation department immediately made the school aware of the accident.

"I think that they did not follow the correct procedures," said Smith. "They're supposed to have contacted the parents and made us aware."

Smith says JaQuay was in so much pain Thursday evening that she took him to the E.R.

"I took him to Trinity Hospital where they said that his left shoulder was bruised. They gave him some Naproxen for pain," she explained. "That's why it's very important everyday that your child comes home, you're asking 'What happened? How did your day go?'...It's very important."

Rollins Elementary Principal Dr. Sharon Ray confirms the transportation department did contact the school after the accident.

She says she believed transportation officials were contacting the parents.

Transportation officials say they contacted the school because school officials are supposed to contact parents following incidents like this one.

Deputy Superintendent Spivey says the procedure has always been that the transportation department contacts the school and the school contacts the parents.

He tells News 12 the mix up may have come because the district is currently in the process of changing that system so that transportation officials can send a Global Connect call to the entire school about any accident or maintenance issue that happens during a route. This new procedure is something they're looking in to going into effect within days.

News 12 is still digging for more answers about the school bus accident and currently working to get a copy of an incident report.


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