News 12 at 6 o'clock / Friday, March 30, 2012
ALLENDALE, S.C.-- School officials have made a change to their bus policy after a 19-year-old special needs student stole a bus and crashed it into a home on Thursday.
Stanley Bolden says the bizarre bus blunder began when his mentally disabled son became upset that he couldn't stay after school to watch his friends play on the field.
"He likes to be around guys participating in sports because he know he can't play," the father said.
The 19-year-old student at Allendale-Fairfax High School did not want to go home on his bus. School officials say he broke free from his adult escort, ran to an empty bus and found a key.
Investigators say the teen drove about 4 miles before he crashed into a woman's home. He and a person inside the house sustained minor injuries.
"I don't know what the policy is and I don't really care, but it shouldn't have happened and he shouldn't have been able to get on that bus," Bolden said.
Herald McClain says his staff had a habit of leaving a key in the spare bus so drivers could have easy access.
McClain says he has changed the policy after this incident.
"If it's a spare bus -- I don't care what bus -- we don't leave a key on bus," he said. "It frightened the parent as much as it frightened us yesterday."
School officials say they are investigating to find out exactly who is to blame. Disciplinary action could be taken depending on the outcome of the investigation.
The special needs student will go before a panel to determine whether he will also face disciplinary action.