Butler County Times Gazette
  • Douglass School Bus Driver to face two charges

  • The Butler County Attorney's office has charged a Douglass school bus driver with one count each of child endangerment or reckless driving charges, Darrin Devinney said.
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  • The Butler County Attorney's office has charged a Douglass school bus driver with one count each of child endangerment or reckless driving charges, Darrin Devinney said.
    Each of those counts is a misdemeanor.
    The driver had been suspended following the incident, according to school officials earlier this week.
    Substitute bus driver Morris Peterson, 63, was suspended pending the outcome of the investigation, which was being conducted by the Kansas Highway Patrol, said Rob Reynolds, Douglass USD 396 school district superintendent.
    Peterson resigned at the last Douglass School Board meeting.
    "Peterson did, unlawfully, knowingly and unreasonable cause or permit 10 children under the age of thirteen to be placed in a situation in which the child's life, body or health may be endangered," the court documents read.
    Peterson attempted to cross a low-water bridge on Hopkins Switch, near 190th, northeast of Douglass, on Thursday afternoon.
    The KHP report said Peterson misjudged the bridge railing, and drove the passenger side of the bus off of the bridge.
    The 10 students on board escaped through an emergency exit and waited on top of the bus until rescue workers were able to transport them to their parents, who waited about a mile away on the same road.
    One student received a minor injury and Peterson sustained a back injury.
    Peterson's first court appearance is set for Jan. 8, 2014 at 1:30 p.m.

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