BEAVER COUNTY, Pa. — A school bus driver in Beaver County is off the job and police are investigating claims that he drove recklessly with kids on board on purpose.
Parents of an elementary school student at Todd Lane in Center Township said the bus driver has been intentionally slamming on his brakes and laughing at the kids when they hit their faces on the seat in front of them.
“I get a phone call about 3:30,” Amanda Lewchenko tells Channel 11. “My daughter is screaming hysterically on the phone. I thought the bus wrecked.”
Lewchenko told 11 News she couldn’t hear her 10-year-old daughter over the screams of other kids on the bus.
“She said he’d turn around and laugh,” Lewchenko added. “He was doing it intentionally.”
Lewchenko says she started calling Rhodes Transit, who handles Central Valley School District transportation, back in September. She told Rhodes Transit she was concerned about this particular bus driver who was picking up and dropping off kids because he kept brake-checking in order to get the kids to pay attention.
“The one time I begged and pleaded with the guy, ‘Can you please watch the tapes?’” Lewchenko added. “Because I know there are cameras on the buses. He said he would do that.”
She said Rhodes Transit never called her back. Friday, after the frantic phone call from her daughter, Lewchenko and her husband confronted the driver at their Monaca bus stop. Lewchenko said she asked the driver what was going on and why he was doing what he was doing. She said he shut the door, flipped her off and said “f you.” Lewchenko said her husband walked in front of the bus to try to talk to the driver.
“The bus driver looks at him, guns the bus and almost came inches from hitting my husband!” Lewchenko added.
Lewchenko said as the driver was finishing dropping students, he screamed over the radio to all the other bus drivers, “I’m done, f--- these kids.” They have since filed a police report.
Lewchenko’s husband followed the driver to a lot where there was a confrontation. A video was taken that shows the bus driver coming out with something over his shoulder, yelling, “f--- you, I quit.”
Lewchenko said she’s grateful the kids weren’t seriously hurt and that Center Township police are investigating, but she has some questions for Rhodes Transit.
“It seemed like the bus company just didn’t care,” Lewchenko added. “I’m just thankful he’s terminated and can’t drive students, he doesn’t have the privilege to do that. He doesn’t deserve that.”
Rhodes Transit said they cannot comment other than the bus driver resigned from his position. We’ll continue checking in with police to see if charges are filed.
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