School-bus driver Frederick Poust III had had no sleep for at least 24 hours when he drove 45 students early on Feb. 17 to a Montgomery County middle school.
Furthermore, a county investigation alleged, he had been listening to his iPod through loudspeakers. And he had been making personal phone calls.
That deadly cocktail, county investigators say, may have led Poust to make a reckless decision that day in Lower Frederick Township. Video from cameras mounted inside the bus showed that Poust turned left from Route 73 without stopping and crashed into an occupied Honda Civic, killing one person, Philadelphia Daily News reports.
The Morning Call has reported that at a news conference Monday, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said state police and county detectives obtained video from the bus that show Poust drove the bus in a negligent and reckless manner, improperly entering the eastbound lane and causing the accident.
The video also shows Poust not making complete stops at 10 stop signs on the way to the school in Lower Frederick Township, she said.
''Although this prior crash certainly should have heightened his level of caution, the on-board bus video shows that on the morning of this accident he was driving in an extremely reckless manner,'' Ferman said in a news release.
On Monday, the House Transportation Committee held a hearing for the purpose of receiving testimony concerning the licensing of school bus drivers in the state.
Last week, state Rep. Josh Shapiro (D-153rd), sent a letter to PennDOT officials calling on the agency to make all accident information available to school districts prior to hiring school bus drivers.
"It is my belief that all available information related to a school bus driver applicant's driver history ought to be made available to the school district prior to the assessment of his or her application," Shapiro wrote in his letter to PennDOT officials, Lansdale Reporter reported.
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