Death of 10-year-old girl raises concerns about school bus safety

Posted at 6:52 PM, May 06, 2014

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah -- A 10-year-old South Jordan girl will be laid to rest Wednesday after a school bus hit and killed her a week ago.

Seleny Crosby’s death has prompted parents and city leaders to call for action.

Tuesday night, South Jordan City Council members wore pink ribbons to honor Seleny and they say they have a lot of questions about how her accident happened.

One council member told the Jordan School District if bus drivers don’t stop dropping kids off on busy roads, the city will step in with an ordinance to prevent that.

“I have a lot of concerns about the bussing routes and how they've been established and set in our city,” said councilman Chris Rogers.

South Jordan city leaders want to review school bus routes, how they're created and what input residents have.

"Get out the map and evaluate stop by stop the safety of each of these stops," said Mayor Dave Alvord.

On April 30, a Jordan School District bus dropped off Seleny near her home at 40th West and Cedarwood Lane. As she crossed in front of the bus, another bus hit the child and she later died.

"There's absolutely no reason that a child should be dropped off on the side of the street in which they do not live. I find that inexcusable and I also find it inexcusable that the residents brought this to the attention of the district in terms of this particular stop," Rogers said.

"It's discouraging that our school district, and I'm not saying they don't want to help protect our children, but it seems like it was put on the back burner," said South Jordan mother Tamatha Hartley.

"That will be part of our internal review as well,” said Dr. Anthony Godfrey with the Jordan School District. “If there's been feedback that has been ignored, then that's something we would take very seriously."

Starting Wednesday, Jordan School District busses will drop kids off on both sides of 40th West so children don't have to cross the busy road.

"I think that's a step in the right direction,” said Rich Parkinson, a South Jordan father “We’ve got to get the kids off 4000 West."

Parents want the bus drivers to drop kids off in residential areas. That too is being evaluated. Meanwhile, an official with the state's risk management department, essentially the school's district's insurance provider, said Tuesday, the bus that dropped Seleny off should have had warning lights and stop signs displayed when dropping off school children. Police agree after witnesses told them only the bus' hazard lights were on.

"We've reviewed state statute and state statute clearly states that when a child must cross the street when exiting a school bus, the stop sign shall be illuminated," said Master Officer Sam Winkler with South Jordan Police.

Risk managers are expected to wrap up their investigation and support a report to the Jordan School District by the end of the week, possibly proposing changes to the bus route.

South Jordan police are also finishing their investigation and will turn it over to the district attorney’s office to decide whether charges should be filed or citations issued.