CBS47 Investigation: Clovis Unified students speak out after bus accident. Students say, ‘We are forced to sit on the floor of the bus, which is against the law.’

February 07 2021 03:30 pm

CLOVIS, California (KGPE) – Clovis Unified student Aniah Rivera is speaking out after she was allegedly injured while riding on a school bus last week.

She is resting at home with a broken shoulder blade after the school bus she was riding in was involved in an accident with a car.

The accident happened on Wednesday near the corner of Belmont and Fowler avenues.

Rivera says the bus was packed with students and claims some were forced to sit or kneel in the aisle of the bus as it traveled to and from school.

She and other students who spoke with CBS47 say it’s a common thing to see on a daily basis, depending on the number of students who ride the bus each day.

Rivera says, “It made me angry seeing people on the floor. I would get mad at the other kids for making them sit on the floor.”

CBS47 Investigative Reporter Erik Rosales asks, “What would the bus driver do?”

Rivera says, “He wouldn’t be able to see because the bus was so crowded three in a seat.”

The 14-year-old told CBS47 she was forced to keep her legs in the aisle because there was not enough room with two other students sitting in the seat.

But that’s now all, Rivera says a boy was kneeling in the aisle at the time of the accident last week.

Rivera says, “He was sitting on the floor between me and my brother. He was on his knees I think on the floor.”

The California Highway Patrol is still investigating the accident.

Officers tell CBS47, “We are looking into the possibility of overcrowding and improper seating to see if any violations will be brought against Clovis Unified School District.”

Clovis Unified first told CBS47 the bus was rated to carry 78 passengers, and at the time of the accident close to 70 students were on the bus.

But CBS47 filed a Freedom of Information Act requesting the video from inside the school bus involved in the accident and information if any students were sitting or kneeling on the floor of the bus.

Clovis Unified emailed in part the following statement to CBS47.

It’s our practice in situations like this to reach out to every parent and family of students who were involved. We want to make sure they are ok, and that they know the supports made available by the district should they wish to have any follow up medical care. During those conversations, we heard from parents the same thing that you did, and as a result added a bus to the route the very next day.  Most recently, we added a bus in this area last spring after it was reported that the bus was near capacity.  We want to ensure that every child in our busing program has transportation available, and this extra bus was added as a precaution to ensure ample seats are available for our bus riders.

Clovis Unified School District

Meanwhile, Rivera says she has been told by doctors that her football season is over this year.

She and her family say they are just thankful no one was killed in the accident.

If and when, CBS47 will get the video surveillance from inside the school bus we will share it with our viewers.

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