A Hamilton Heights bus driver is behind bars after an early morning crash in a school bus on Sept. 21.
Just before 7:30 a.m., the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office investigated a single vehicle crash involving a Hamilton Heights School Corporation bus.
According to the initial investigation, the Hamilton Heights bus was southbound on Leonard Road at 286th Street, east of Ind. 19 near Atlanta, when the bus drove off the roadway at approximately 40 miles per hour.
Police say the bus struck a guide wire to a utility pole, then traveled along the edge of the roadway before returning to the pavement.
The bus driver, identified as Janet Kay Shaw, 53, Arcadia, continued her route, picking up additional students along the way, delivering them to Hamilton Heights Middle School.
Hamilton Heights Schools personnel were made aware of the incident when several students notified their parents by cell phone from the bus and those parents in turn notified school personnel.
Shaw was immediately removed from the bus as it arrived at the school.
Students were treated for headaches, minor aches and pains, and similar issues by school nurses and none of the students expressed a desire or need to leave school for the day. No serious injuries as a result of the crash were reported among the 21 middle school and high school students on the bus at the time of the crash. The bus itself sustained minor damage.
According to the initial report, Shaw did not report the collision to law enforcement or school personnel and did not stop at the scene of the crash. The collision resulted in power lines down and a transformer malfunction causing a power outage in the area. Power in the area has since been restored.
The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office arrested Shaw on initial charges of:
- 4 counts of Leaving the Scene of a Personal Injury Crash (A Misdemeanor)
- 2 counts of Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Crash (B Misdemeanor)
- 1 count of Reckless Driving (A Misdemeanor)
- 2 counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance (A Misdemeanor)
- 1 count of Operating While Intoxicated (C Misdemeanor)
- 21 counts of Operating While Intoxicated Endangering a Minor (Level 6 Felony)
The names and types of controlled substances in Shaw’s possession were not released by police.
She is being held at the Hamilton County Jail on a bond of $12,500.
Hamilton Heights School Corporation released the following statement on the incident:
“Hamilton Heights School Corporation immediately suspended an HHCS employee, bus driver Jan Shaw this morning, and will present a recommendation for her termination of employment at the next HHSC Board School Trustees meeting.
The employee had been a bus driver for HHSC since 2001. As with all bus drivers at HHSC and at districts across Indiana, she was subject to mandatory random drug testing screenings. She had passed all previous drug screenings.
All students who were on the bus successfully completed the school day. As soon as we were aware of the incident, we contacted all parents of students on the bus.
We are thankful that parents contacted HHSC to let us know of the incident, so that the driver could be removed from the route immediately.
As always, the safety and security of our students at Hamilton Heights is our number one priority.”