Hawkins Co. man charged after executing bus stop sign, nearly crushing children
SURGOINSVILLE, Tennessee (WVLT) – Surgoinsville man charged with operating a school bus stop and nearly knocking children off a bus on March 4 The Times News reported.
The Times News reported that Mark Anthony Richards, 47, faces charges after police said he drove a loaded dump truck past a school bus with flashing lights and an extended stop sign while that a small child was getting off the bus in the 3300 block of Hwy 11- W in Surgoinsville.
Surgoinsville Police Chief James Hammonds told The Times News that after the bus dropped off several children at a day care center on Freeway 11-W, the bus traveled about 60 yards on the freeway and s he is arrested again to drop off two more children. Police said surveillance footage shows Richards “suddenly crossed the emergency lane, barely missing the first child.”
Chief Hammonds told The Times News that a second child was getting off the bus when the dump truck loaded with eight tons of gravel passed.
When questioned by police on March 11, Richards told Hammonds that “the bus suddenly stopped and swerved to avoid hitting the back of the bus, but could not be stopped in time. to reach the gate unloading area, ”Hammonds said. “He says there was a car on the left side preventing him from swerving in that direction, but in the video I don’t see a car on the left side.
Hammonds said Richards’ statement did not match what he saw on the video.
“It was almost a horrific tragedy,” Hammonds said. “The first child barely got through the front bumper, and the other was still standing in the doorway. Fortunately, the second child stopped.
Richards has been charged with two counts of reckless endangerment, neglect of due attention and passing a school bus while unloading passengers. He was released from Hawkins County jail on bail and is due to be arraigned Monday.
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