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Bulloch County student airlifted to Savannah after jumping from back door of school bus
School district awaiting word on condition of child
school bus

A Bulloch County middle school student was air lifted to a Savannah hospital Thursday morning after jumping from the back door of a moving school bus.

According to a release from Bulloch County Schools Public Relations Director Hayley Greene, a student opened the back door of the school bus and jumped as it was traveling west on Veterans Memorial Parkway during morning bus routes Thursday.

"Bulloch County Schools can now confirm, based on eyewitness statements and surveillance video from the bus, that the student involved in today's bus incident opened the door and jumped from the bus," Greene said in an email.

State regulations require the rear door of school buses to be unlocked so they can be accessible in case of an emergency from both inside and outside a bus, Greene said.

Also, if a rear door is not fully closed, a school bus will not crank. Additionally, an alarm will sound immediately if the door is opened while the bus is moving.

Greene said the alarm sounded when the rear door was opened on the bus Thursday morning.

Law enforcement, emergency medical personnel, and school district staff all responded to the scene.

“The student was transported by ambulance to Air Evac and airlifted to Savannah,” Greene said in the release. “No further information is known at this time as to the child’s condition."

School social workers and counselors were alerted to help support the child’s family, as well as the students who were on the bus, Greene said.

Another bus was dispatched to transport the remaining children from the accident scene.

Greene said the school bus was staffed with both a school district driver and bus monitor.

The school district employs 35 school bus monitors, Greene said. There are currently 101 bus routes carrying Bulloch students, so not every bus has a monitor.

Greene said all buses carrying special education students have a monitor and buses where discipline issues have been present are staffed with a monitor.

Surveillance video from the bus continues to be reviewed and statements were obtained from the employees and students who were on the bus.

According to the release, part of Bulloch County Schools’ school bus safety practices includes drivers conducting bus safety training with all students each August.

The age-appropriate sessions teach children how to properly get on and off a school bus, how to evacuate the bus in the event of a fire or accident, how to sit and use quiet voices on the bus, danger zones around a bus and bus stop rules.

Also, drivers also practice safe evacuations with students two times each year, Greene said.

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