Incident on Huntsville school bus causes commute disruption

Incident on Huntsville school bus causes commute disruption

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Huntsville school officials are looking into a school bus disruption during the after-school drive Tuesday afternoon.

On Wednesday, Huntsville Police said they did respond to to the scene of the

A police spokesman said there was some sort of disruption on a bus from Blossomwood Elementary, so the driver stopped around Sparkman Drive and Pulaski Pike. Investigators are still trying to determine exactly what happened.

Huntsville Police did respond to the scene yesterday when the bus driver called 9-1-1. Police spoke to the driver who admitted to missing stops.

He said prior to not making those stops, he had music playing and the students became unruly and rowdy.

He warned them to settle down and was quoted in the miscellaneous case report of saying “you’re going home to get disciplined."

He drove roughly a mile past stop their stop.

Both the bus company and city schools are cooperating with HPD.

“I was on the phone with my mother and I went up to the front asking to please let us off,” explained Kimani Ellington a Blossomwood student was on-board the bus. "He just kept saying, ‘No, we’re on the way to my house.’ And I said, “Can you please let us off?”

Students tell 48 News just before this all unfolded the driver was playing music and that perhaps they got too rowdy, which upset him. So, they say he drove past their stop.

Laquita Jones is Kimani’s mother. “He was like, ‘Everybody put your cell phones down,' and that they were on the way to his house," explained Jones. “I’m crying and she’s screaming. I’m like, 'Baby, calm down. Tell me where you at?”

Witnesses said they saw students get off the bus. Some were in a panic and some were in tears, they said.

“You passed us and made it to the other side of town," said Jones. "Yes, I think this was kidnapping. Something wasn’t right with this.”

Huntsville City Schools sent the following statement: "Huntsville City Schools is aware of an issue with an Apple Bus Driver that occurred this afternoon. HCS district staff responded to the situation to provide assistance and ensure that another bus was dispatched so that all kids could be safely transported home. HCS expects Apple Bus to provide a quick resolution to prevent similar situations from occurring in the future.”

Apple Bus Co. also send a statement: “Student safety is our top priority. Apple Bus has a full safety program in place to protect students and requires that all employees follow these policies to their fullest as part of maintaining their employment. Claims of deviations from procedures are investigated promptly. We are investigating a possible incident on one of our buses and will take all appropriate actions after that claim has been investigated.”

WAFF 48 News is gathering more information and speaking with parents. Check back for updates.

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