WICHITA, Kan. - A school bus driver in Wichita was fired after taking students on what they say was a wild ride.
The bus driver says she got lost, yet parents want to know if there's more to the story.
One student explained what happened.
"We had no clue where she was going to go,” student Michael Kesinger said.
His mom says she's never seen him so shaken.
"He just came in the door saying ‘She's crazy. You don't know what I've been through. It was horrible. I can't believe I'm home. I'm glad I'm home,’" Susan Kesinger said.
It started on the bus ride home from Hadley Middle School. The 7th grader says the driver made one wrong turn and then everything went wrong.
Michael says he and other students tried to help the driver with directions, but she ignored them and kept on going from one end of Wichita to the other.
"For like the first seven times I asked probably, she wouldn't answer me,” Michael said. “And then when she was at a red light I asked her again, and she said in a quiet voice ‘I don't know where I'm at or where I'm going."
Michael says at one point, she hit a street sign and later hit a parked truck and left the scene without reporting it to anyone.
"She checked the truck and said it was ok,” Michael said, “but I could see damage."
A truck matching the description Michael gave at the same intersection had what appeared to be yellow paint transfer on the bumper. Efforts to reach the truck’s owner by KWCH were unsuccessful.
First Student, the bus company, said this was a fully trained bus driver in her second week on the job and she got lost.
The bus company says no students were ever in any danger and all were dropped off safely.
According to First Student, the driver passed a drug and alcohol test. She was fired after failing to follow procedures and immediately report the accident to dispatchers.
The same bus driver was involved in another minor accident just one day earlier during pick-up at Hadley Middle School.
First Student said that incident was reported, and the bus driver was cleared to take home her students that day.
The next morning, she underwent a several hours of classroom training and behind-the-wheel training before picking up her students.
"I wondered when in the world they had time to give her the extra training,” Susan Kesinger said. “Because they took the pictures and she drove the kids home, and at 7 in the morning, she's back picking them up. So I don't know unless they gave her training in the morning at 3 or 4 in the morning?"
Susan Kesinger said she has doubts First Student is telling the whole story, and wonders if everything was handled correctly. She thinks other parents need to know what happened.
"It's just something as a parent you want to know if this is going on with the people that are driving your children around."
As for Michael, he's a little nervous about riding the bus, but said his new driver has been fine.
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