Bus Driver Charged After Mayhem-Fueled Ride Through Fall River
FALL RIVER — A bus driver for a charter school in Fall River has been charged after nearly a dozen students were hurt during a chaotic ride home on Thursday.
Fall River Police received reports of a bus being operated in an erratic manner at around 4 p.m. on Thursday. The bus was soon located parked alongside the road near the intersection of King Phillip and Tuttle Streets. Police say the bus did not appear to have been involved in an accident.
Police boarded the bus and discovered multiple students complaining of minor injuries. Eleven students were transported to area hospitals for evaluation as a precaution. All of the students were later cleared and released to their parents or guardians.
During the investigation of the incident, police identified the school bus driver as Kimberly Samson, 44, of Westport. Samson is employed by the Fisher Bus Company of Somerset, who are contracted by the Argosy Charter School in Fall River for student transportation.
After speaking with numerous students aboard the bus, police determined that Samson had missed several required bus stops during the beginning of her route as she was transporting children from the school to their homes. Samson continued to pass multiple required stops along the way. A disturbance on the bus began to erupt between Samson and the students after they noticed she had not stopped at multiple locations. An adult bus monitor present on the bus confirmed the tumultuous environment to Fall River Police.
Multiple students continued to ask Samson to stop the bus. However, Samson continued to drive without stopping, prompting students to begin contacting their families who, in turn, notified police.
Samson continued following her route without stopping onto King Phillip Street and approached the intersection of Tuttle Street when she abruptly stopped the bus, causing the students to lurch forward. Police say they located the bus as it came to a stop.
While the investigation is ongoing, Fall River Police have charged Samson with negligent operation of a motor vehicle and eleven counts of wanton and reckless endangerment of a child.
Police continue to gather witness statements and possible video evidence of the alleged incident.