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WEST WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Liam and Zoe Hume usually love riding the bus to and from Greenbush Elementary School.
But the siblings feared for their lives Thursday when a substitute bus driver started acting unusual behind the wheel.
Both Liam and Zoe claim the bus driver was speeding, blew through stop signs, repeatedly slammed on the brakes and ran over curbs.
“I was very scared because I thought he was going to tip the bus over,” Zoe recalled.
“A 5-year-old could drive better than him,” Liam added. “Whenever he would go fast … kids would scream. A couple of kids were scared so they got off the bus when it wasn’t even their stop.”
The siblings tell 12 News some students on the bus hit their heads on the windows when the driver swerved and jerked the wheel.
“When the kids were crying, he laughed,” Zoe said. “He was laughing.”
William Hume, Liam and Zoe’s father, said when he learned what happened he was absolutely furious.
“When you send the kids to school, you expect them to be safe,” he said. “For him to be driving like that — that’s endangering the lives of these kids. What if he did flip the bus over?”
The West Warwick Police Department tells 12 News an investigation is underway after a parent reported the bus driver’s erratic behavior. That parent claimed at least one student on the bus was hurt.
First Student, which provides transportation services for the town’s school district, is also looking into the allegations. In a statement, a spokesperson for First Student confirmed the driver is employed by the company.
“First Student has an incredible responsibility every day to safely transport students to and from school and we take that responsibility very seriously,” the spokesperson said. “Our driver will not be operating a bus throughout this investigation.”
West Warwick Superintendent Karen Tarasevich said the district has been made aware of the allegations and will conduct its investigation in tandem with First Student.
The bus driver has not been identified. It’s unclear whether he will face any charges.
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