Driver hits student at bus stop, receives probation and diversion


    Sam Bryant was ready for the school bus to take him to Pendleton County High School which is right across the street from his house.
    As he walked to the stopped bus, the vehicle driven by Lisa Carol King passed the bus and struck him. He tumbled through the air.
    Jodi Garrison Bryant, Sam’s mom, said he is doing fine now.
    King faced the consequences of her not recognizing the stopped bus in Pendleton Circuit Court.
    Judge William Kuster allowed a pretrial diversion of a three-year sentence on the charge of Wanton Endangerment in the First Degree and was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment on the charges of Assault in the Fourth Degree and Passing a Loading/Unloading School Bus. He granted probation for the sentence.
    According to King’s lawyer, Gale Rose, “Pretrial diversion means that if she successfully completes the conditions of her diversion, the charge will be dismissed. If she violates any of the conditions, the Court may hold a hearing. If the Judge determines she did violate one (or more) of the conditions, the Court may set aside the diversion and sentence her to serve the three year sentence that is part of her diversion agreement and the Court’s Order.”
    It was a sentence that Sam’s mom had no issue with.
    “I am in agreement with the sentencing.  She isn’t a bad person and doesn’t deserve to go to jail.  I hope that it causes her to pay attention when she is driving from now on.”
    Even though the incident was covered locally, it has not stopped drivers from blowing passed stopped buses during the morning and evening routes.
    While Bryant was lucky to see her son not seriously injured from the incident, others throughout the nation have not been as lucky. She hopes that drivers start to pay attention during the school year’s hours of bus pickups and dropoffs.
    “I just hope that people pay attention when they are driving.  There is no excuse - my kids are picked up in a school zone so the speed limit is already lower than normal,” said Bryant.
    Buses will again roll for Pendleton County schools on Monday, January 11. It is vital for the safety of students that drivers are paying attention and stop for school buses.