Students suffer concussions when school bus driver slams on brakes

KELSO, Wash. -- Three elementary school kids ended up with concussions after a Kelso school bus driver made a sudden stop.

The Kelso School District is investigating the incident that happened on the school's Westside Highway-Beacon Hill Route last week.

Scott Westlund, the district's business and operations manager, confirmed to KATU that the bus driver made the sudden stop, but he is still not sure exactly why.

One of the injured kids' moms told the Longview Daily News that her child says the bus driver told them, "That's what happens when you're not quiet on the bus."

KATU asked Westlund what he thought that meant, if the kids were being so noisy they distracted the driver, but Westlund wouldn't comment on that.

The bus driver, students, and other school staff have all been interviewed, but the investigation continues.

And the bus driver is still on the route.

That's what concerns many parents, like Becca Lewis, who watches the buses go by the store where she works.

"It concerns me that they're letting the driver continue to drive until the investigation is complete. They should at least put them on suspension of some sort until the investigation is over," said Lewis.

Westlund said the district feels comfortable with the driver staying on the route for the time being.

"Should we find any issues that need to be addressed with the driver then we will address those," he said.

Becca Lewis realizes there could be more to the story.

"You need to have patience driving a bus. But, oh yeah, people sneak right around the buses when they're driving. Just go right around the side. It's dangerous, they just don't realize," she said.

The district has offered to pay the medical bills for the students, who are ages 6, 8 and 9.