A bus driver in New Hampshire will face a judge later this month after police say she let her 5 year old behind the wheel of the bus before it smashed into a nearby garage.
Nobody was hurt in the crash, and the bus driver, Tiffanie Brown of Merrimack, has been released on bail. necn stopped by her apartment, but she did not want to comment on the charges against her.
Merrimack Police arrested and charged Brown Monday with two counts of child endangerment and one count of reckless conduct.
"This is just really poor decision making," Merrimack Police Capt. Peter Albert said.
Capt. Albert saw the surveillance video captured inside the bus on the morning of Jan. 8. He says that Brown, a bus driver for a company called Provider, was performing her daily safety inspection in the parking lot of her apartment complex with the help of a 5-year-old boy.
"Ms. Brown had a five year old in the driver's seat and the bus already started and was checking the lights and having that child activate the buttons for the lights to make sure the bus was working while she was standing outside the vehicle," Albert said.
Police say when the 5 year old shifted the bus into reverse, it lurched backward and hit another child standing outside.
"The 8 year old got caught up in the door and he was dragged a ways and it almost hit the mother, too," Capt. Albert explained.
Albert says it's lucky no one was seriously hurt or even killed before the bus smashed into the garage and came to a stop.
Provider Enterprises serves the Merrimack School District. The superintendent declined to comment on camera, but a school transportation official tells necn that Brown will never drive for the district again.
"Just the fact that those children were present and the manner in which they were involved, the whole thing made it very dangerous," Albert said.
NECN reached out to Provider Enterprises for comment, but has not yet heard back. Brown will be arraigned on these charges at the end of the month.