Georgia

State trooper: Bus driver kept going after crash hurt kids

A Georgia school bus driver was jailed Wednesday on a felony charge after he veered off the road and crashed into a ditch twice, then continued with his morning pickup route despite having injured children on board, the Georgia State Patrol said.

None of the children was hurt badly, though three of them suffered "bloody noses and busted lips from bouncing up and down," said Sgt. 1st Class W. Tracy Tabb of the State Patrol. He said the driver didn't report the crash or seek help until he arrived at North Brooks Elementary School more than 20 minutes later.

"From what we can gather, kids were crying," Tabb said. "We're still questioning him about why he continued on and why he didn't call an ambulance."

The driver, 35-year-old Brian K. Elliot of Quitman, remained jailed Wednesday afternoon in rural Brooks County near the Georgia-Florida state line. He was charged with second-degree cruelty to children, a felony, in addition to several misdemeanor counts including failing to report an accident with injuries and leaving the scene of a crash.

Jail records did not list an attorney for Elliot, said Lt. Darlene Wooten of the Brooks County Sheriff's Office.

Elliot was picking up children for school about 7:09 a.m. Wednesday when the bus swerved off the road into a ditch and struck a drainage culvert, Tabb said. He swerved back onto the roadway and crossed both lanes of traffic before going into a ditch on the other side.

After getting out to check the bus and finding no serious damage, Elliot finished his bus route, Tabb said. School officials called police about 7:35 a.m. Paramedics came to the school to examine the children.

Troopers found no evidence that Elliot had been drinking alcohol or using drugs, Tabb said. They planned to review video from a bus-mounted camera to look for clues to what caused the crash.