I was in court all day covering a murder trial and missed the nine phone calls and 23 emails alerting me to a wreck involving a school bus earlier today on Union Road.
As wrecks go, the incident involving Bus 39 wasn’t a a major accident. The school bus driver hit a car while trying to turn the bus around.
But given recent public anxiety over school bus drivers caught speeding and running stop signs, it warranted a "Breaking News" heading on The Roanoke Times web site and a quick spin on the story from Mike Carr, Floyd County school system transportation director.
"It just hit it backing up," Carr told The Times. "That’s all it is."
It was a little more than Carr told the Times. The Virginia State Trooper who worked the accident told me that he could have issued citations to drivers of both the car and the bus but decided to let it pass since both were at fault and no one was hurt. Yet the accident was bad enough that 10 students were transferred to another bus.
Carr’s dismissive attitude is distrubing, as is the "look the other way and claim everything is fine" reactions we get from County School Superintendent Terry Arbogast. Sources inside the school system tell me accidents involving buses happen more than the school system is willing to admit. Most just don’t get reported.