Parents want answers in fatal Houston County schools bus crash

Jennifer Munoz (WGXA)

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. -- At a Houston County Board of Education work session meeting on Monday, Feb. 12, area residents voiced concerns about bus safety after a Jan. 30 bus accident killed 6-year-old Arlana Haynes.

Kathy Brown, whose children and grandchildren have all been in Houston County schools, said she didn't understand why that particular bus was on Forest Park Dr. in the first place.

Brown said she drove the route herself and said it's not paved well and has a soft shoulder, and that there are other routes the bus could have taken.

"I don't know what happened, but that's where it happened, and there was no real shoulder. There is no room for error," she said.

She also asked the Board of Education why residents, who pay for the buses with taxes through ESPLOST, aren't aware of the reasons why certain routes are chosen and why they don't get a choice in the process of deciding on these issues.

Brown said that she wants the board to answer her questions and feels that several parents are plagued by these same concerns.

Board Chairman Fred Wilson, who declined an on-camera interview, said that Warner Robins Police is still investigating the incident and that the school system still can't make any comments on the situation.

Wilson did say that the school system hurts when it loses someone from one of its school and that they will be getting a thorough investigation.

"We as a school system and we as individual parents, grandparents, mothers fathers, etc. are just as concerned as you are and the rest of the community. We are going to do everything we can," he said.

Lily Simpson, Arlana Haynes aunt, has begun a petition asking Governor Nathan Deal to implement laws for seat belts on school buses and said that no one should have to go through what her family has experienced.

As of Feb. 12, the petition had been signed over 600 times and can be found here.

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