Parents: Schools didn't tell us about bus crash

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Some parents told NBC12 the schools never notified them of a crash between their children's school bus and a motorcycle.  The wreck at the intersection of Terminal Avenue and Lanewood Drive killed one man.

Parents called us for information because, for many of them, a letter was the first official notification they got from the schools.  It said, "your child was on a school bus involved in a collision."  But they didn't get the notice until they picked up their kids at a different school, a few hours after the crash.

Even the smallest of children know when something has gone terribly wrong.

"It was a bump," Dakota Beales said of the accident.

Listening to Ruffin Road Elementary students describe how their bus collided with a motorcycle during their ride home terrified their parents.

"I seen a motorcycle hit the bus," another told us.

Watching the hours tick by not knowing where their kids might be was even more frightening.  There were thirteen children on the bus at 3:20 Wednesday afternoon. Richmond Public Schools told us staff was calling each of their parents to let them know what was going on, but just after 5pm we got a different story from Amanda Barlow at her son's bus stop.

"No one at the school has told us anything about it," she maintained.  "We haven't even been notified that the kids were in an accident."

As a parent, her mind ran wild.

"I'm worried a lot," she said.  "I don't even know what's going on. I don't know if he's hurt or if he's alright. I'm still waiting on the school bus to get here."

Instead of a school bus though, a teacher drove by and told them the kids in the accident were up the street at Summer Hill Elementary.  At six o'clock, parents rushed there for a reunion hours in the making.

"That's a long time for a kid to have to sit on a bus or sit around and wait to see their parents after they been in school for 8 hours a day and witnessed something like that," Barlow explained.

RPS told NBC12 the replacement bus was dropping off kids at an after school program and would have continued onto the bus stop, had parents not met them at Summer Hill.  A spokesperson emphasized numerous attempts were made to contact the parents on numbers in their system.  Home phones might have been ringing while parents were at the bus stop.

Some said, however, the school has cell numbers on file and in this kind of situation, it needed to do more.

"They should know that's not fair to the parents," Barlow reiterated.  "They need to get in contact with the parents even if they have to send somebody house to house."

We're told the school bus involved in the accident will be examined to make sure it does not have any damage before it once again picks up kids.

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