A transit bus driver who was the cause of a five-vehicle wreck already had a troubling 50 violations on record with her employer, reports KSAT News (https://www.ksat.com/news/defenders/via-driver-had-more-than-50-discipline-violations-prior-to-causing-5-vehicle-wreck).
Forty-eight-year-old Charletta Springs, a bus driver with the VIA Metropolitan Transit in San Antonio, Texas, drifted into the wrong lane in August and hit four vehicles parked along the street. A woman who was sitting in one of those parked cars was seriously injured and had to be removed from the mangled wreck with the Jaws of Life by emergency responders.
Springs was subsequently forced to resign and was facing termination after the incident, but questions are being raised about why she was allowed to drive buses for so long despite having an established history of violations. This was the third bus-driving incident in less than three years in which she was found responsible for injuring others while on duty.
Back in September of 2014, a man with a walker fell and was hurt when Springs did not lower the bus after lowering the ramp for him, according to her personnel file. Then, in January of 2015, she ran a red light that caused an accident in an incident for which she was suspended and had to complete a six-month probation period. Since she was hired in 2013, Springs had earned 20 driving violations for various offenses, including pulling in front of vehicles with no warning and almost sideswiping another car. She also had 33 violations related to unauthorized absences from work.
The records from the VIA show that Springs was replaced on April 19 in the middle of her route after a passenger called the VIA to complain that she was driving erratically and weaving in and out of traffic. According to the passenger, Springs also nearly hit a car. The complaint states that the bus driver told the dispatcher she was “light-headed” while driving.
Naturally, the people affected by Springs want answers. Rodolfo Herrera, for example, whose truck was among the parked vehicles she hit, was surprised to learn she was still driving despite her record.
The KSAT News team also took a look at her driving history with a previous employer, the North side Independent School District, and found that she was disciplined at least seven times between 2008 and 2012. She was also suspended for one day after failing to report a bus accident she was a part of in 2009.
Springs, on a video taken after the accident, repeatedly states she does not know why she crossed into the other lane. She was treated by paramedics on the bus before she was taken to the hospital.
VIA officials would not respond to KSAT News’ request for an interview, but they did release a statement that covered some of their health testing policies for drivers and confirmed Springs’ resignation.
Despite the policies bus companies have in place to protect everyone, a dangerous driver can always slip through the cracks. Speak to an experienced attorney, like a bus accident lawyer Denver CO can count on, today if you’ve been injured by a reckless or under-trained bus driver.
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