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Baltimore County Police and Fire News

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Keyword: school bus

October is School Bus Safety Week. From October 16 to 20, public safety officials focus on the importance of laws and regulations designed to keep kids who ride buses safe.

The theme of this year’s campaign, #STOP ON RED! doesn’t suggest that drivers not only stop at stop signs, and red lights but also the red flashing lights on school buses. The law demands it.

Children getting on and off the bus depend on you to do the right thing. You must STOP at the flashing red lights and the extended stop arm. It is the law! Do not pull in front of the bus or pass the bus before the bus gives the go-ahead by turning off the lights and pulling back the arm.

Although motorists may be on the other side of the street from the bus, they must stop unless there is a physical barrier between the two lanes. Children will cross the street after getting off the bus. The same holds true when children are boarding buses. Children are not paying attention to motorists. They are worried about getting to and on the bus in time. It is the motorist’s responsibility to stop and yield to bus riders.

There are penalties for the drivers who disregard the law and put children at risk. Drivers who pass a school bus while the lights are flashing and the stop arm extended could receive a $570 fine and 3 points. For motorists who stop and proceed before the bus lights have stopped, the fine is $570 and 3 points. Drivers who fail to stop and cause an accident may face additional charges.

Observe School Bus Safety Week by stopping when bus lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended. Our children depend on us for their safety.

Laverne Ardin Doran (68) of the 4100 block of Slater Avenue was arrested Thursday afternoon, October 5, after a road rage incident involving a Baltimore County School Bus.

Doran climbed onto the front of the school bus after the bus driver refused to let him onto the bus. Doran claimed that his vehicle, which was in the lane next to the bus at the intersection of Putty Hill Avenue and Hoerner Avenue in Parkville, was struck by a bottle thrown by a passenger on the school bus and demanded entry onto the bus. The bus driver, fearing for the safety of the students, proceeded to slowly drive toward the nearest police precinct with the man clinging to the front of the bus, slamming his fist onto the hood of the bus. When the bus stopped for a traffic light Doran got down and again attempted to gain entry onto the bus, breaking a handle off of the doors. An off-duty police officer saw the commotion and intervened.

Doran was arrested at the scene and charged with Disturbing the Peace/Hindering Passage, Disorderly Conduct, Obstructing a School Bus Driver, and Destruction of Property. He was released from commitment on his own recognizance.

The school bus was transporting students from Loch Raven Middle School at the time of the incident. At no time were the students put in danger. The incident was caught on a student's cell phone camera and distributed independently.

The circumstances surrounding this incident continue to be investigated.

UPDATE (November 22, 2016  12:43 p.m.):

The Baltimore County Police Crash Team has completed its investigation into the April 6 school bus crash in Parkton that sent 10 people, including the driver, to area hospitals.

The crash investigation indicated that a Baltimore County School bus was traveling north-bound on York Road north of Bunker Hill Road. The bus lost control, crossed over south-bound lanes of traffic, went off the roadway, struck a utility pole, and turned on its right side.

The bus driver, 65-year-old Bonnie Faye Pessaro of Freeland, was issued the following citations:

  • Failure to drive right of center lane
  • Failure to control speed to avoid a collision
  • Failure to reduce speed on curve
  • Negligent driving
  • Operating motor vehicle when not restrained by seat belt

Pessaro is schedule to appear in District Court on January 26, 2017 in connection with the charges.

UPDATE (April 7, 2016  9:42 a.m.):

Baltimore County Police continue to investigate a school bus crash in Parkton yesterday that left 10 people injured. 

The preliminary investigation into the crash has indicated that a Baltimore County School bus was traveling north-bound on York Road north of Bunker Hill Road. The bus lost control, crossed over south-bound lanes of traffic, went off the roadway, struck a utility pole, and turned on its right side. 

There were at least 43 students and one driver on the bus. The driver, 65-year-old Bonnie Faye Pessaro of Freeland, was transported to Sinai Trauma Center for treatment. Her current condition is unknown. Nine of the students on the bus were transported to area hospitals for treatment of minor injuries. 

The crash remains under investigation by the Baltimore County Police Crash Team. That investigation is expected to take several weeks.     

UPDATE (April 6, 2016  9:31 p.m.):

The Baltimore County Fire Department has updated the number of people involved in this crash.

There were 42 people on board the bus. The driver was taken to Sinai Trauma Center and nine students were transported to area hospitals. None of the injuries are believed to be life threatening.

UPDATE (April 6, 2016  4:35 p.m.):

The Baltimore County Fire Department has updated the number of people involved in this crash.

There were 42 people on board the bus. The driver was taken to Sinai Trauma Center and eight students were transported to area hospitals. None of the injuries are believed to be life threatening.

Original release (April 6, 2016  3:49 p.m.)

At 2:36 p.m. this afternoon, Baltimore County Police and Fire personnel responded to the area of York Road and Bunker Hill Road for a crash involving a school bus. When officers arrived on the scene, they found a Baltimore County School bus on its side.

There were 39 people on board the bus. The driver was transported to Sinai Trauma Center and five students were transported to other area hospitals. The rest of the students were taken to Hereford High School.

The cause of the crash remains unknown.

The crash is being investigated by the Baltimore County Police Crash Team. That investigation is expected to take several weeks.

 
 
Revised June 27, 2017