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Driver Criminally Charged After Deadly Bus Accident Investigation in MO

When a child is killed in an entirely preventable accident, someone must be held accountable for the tragedy. One such death occurred in January of this year when a bus driver ran over and killed a six-year-old boy in Missouri after dropping him off in front of his home. The Missouri State Highway Patrol recently ended its investigation, concluding the driver should have waited longer for the child to move out of the bus’s path. Charges of second-degree involuntary manslaughter were filed against the driver in Callaway County.

Tragic Bus Accident

Six-year-old Hunter Pitt and his elder sibling had just exited a school bus in front of their home in Williamsburg, when the bus suddenly accelerated, striking Hunter and running him over. The Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) responded to the bus accident, pronouncing Hunter dead at the scene. They also discovered that the bus driver had begun to pull away when another student on the bus yelled at him to stop, but it was already too late. The MSHP sent in the Major Crash Team to investigate the accident.

Investigation Findings

The MSHP team that examined and analyzed the bus accident, which led to Hunter Pitts’ death, recently concluded their investigation. They found that the 77-year-old bus driver, who drove for the North Callaway School District, failed to wait an appropriate amount of time for Hunter to move away from the bus before accelerating. The team’s report also indicated that the bus driver failed to account for both of the students after they exited the bus, and neglected to follow “proper protocol” for these types of incidents.

Driver Accountability

The Callaway County Prosecutor charged bus driver with second degree involuntary manslaughter, which is a class D felony in Missouri, for causing the death of Hunter Pitt. While the bus driver did not mean to kill Hunter, his poor driving practices were criminally negligent and he will now be held accountable for his actions. This tragic scenario not only sends a warning to all bus drivers to drive more carefully, but it also puts all drivers on notice that this type of accident can and should be prevented.

Wider Safety Issues

While nothing can bring back six-year-old Hunter Pitt, the bus accident that killed him shows that there are wider safety issues at stake. Whether it was the bus driver’s training, negligent driving practices or another factor, it is possible that he should not have been driving a school bus full of children. Holding both the driver and his employer, the school district, accountable for what happened will hopefully bring about positive changes to prevent future motor vehicle accidents.

If you or your loved one was recently in a bus or other commercial vehicle accident, contact a Missouri personal injury attorney to discuss how to proceed with any legal actions. A lawyer experienced in these types of crashes can help identify and investigate responsible parties, as well as sue for damages like pain and suffering or wrongful death. You deserve to know what happened and that the guilty parties are being held accountable for their actions.