School bus crash injured 19 in southwest Fresno

FRESNO, Calif.

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So far little is known about the driver of the bus. The CHP did not cite her for the accident and says unruly children played a major role. But some parents and family members claim she has a history of unsafe driving.

A ride home turned in chaos when a school bus with dozens of students from West Fresno Elementary and Middle School backed into a tree.

With many students screaming in pain, dozens of emergency responders worked to assess the various injuries. Some had to be put on stretchers.

The California Highway Patrol says a scuffle on the bus forced the driver to turn into a driveway to address the situation.

Theresita Aquino was on the bus and describes what happened next. "Because these two girls were arguing and then the bus driver wanted to take us back to school and it went back and it crashed to the tree."

The CHP adds a number of other students also stood up on the bus right before the driver backed up blocking her view.

Some parents and family members looking for their loved ones were scared and mad. Brandon Young had four siblings on board. "They said the bus driver was driving recklessly. She hit the tree. She was mad at the students and trying to go back. She hit the tree and ended up hurting all 50 kids," said Young.

Investigators say the driver was not backing up at a high rate of speed. However the impact of the crash smashed the back window and dented the bumper.

"The investigation is still ongoing. But there won't be any criminal charges put on the driver." Said Mark Steadmon from the CHP.

19 students injured on the bus were transported to Community Regional Medical Center for minor to moderate injuries.

Two of Cynthia Dixon's three children were taken to the hospital. She says her kids have told her about some reckless driving in the past by the same driver. "The kids say she's been flying them home like driving fast. And then like a couple of people in our area, when they say they come through the area the bus comes through real fast. She's flying."

Some parents were also upset that their kids were allowed to walk home after the accident. We tried to find out what the policy is for an accident like this one and whether or not kids need to stay put. However the company that runs the bus routes for West Fresno Unified did not return our calls.

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