Mom Demanding Answers from School and Bus Company After Accident

By Stephania Jimenez
|  Friday, Nov 30, 2012  |  Updated 10:30 PM EDT
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Hartford Mom Demanding Answers After Accident

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A Hartford mom is demanding answers, after a school bus carrying her two young children got into an accident.

Marilyn Lopez told NBC Connecticut that not only did school administrators fail to directly notify her, they also didn’t provide her kids with medical attention after the impact.

Lopez’s big scare happened two weeks ago.

“I was in shock. I was nervous for my kids’ life.”

Lopez said her son, Navin Benitez, 8, called her, telling her the Dattco school bus he and his little sister were on, got into an accident.

“The bus was going backwards and hit a different car,” said Benitez.

Dattco confirmed the accident happened around the Batchelder School in Hartford on November 14th. The bus company said the driver forgot to put the emergency brake on as he was responding to a disturbance on the bus. That’s when the bus rolled back and damaged a vehicle.

“In his haste to go to the back of the bus, he didn’t set the emergency brake, which is a mistake on his part,” said Dattco COO, Cliff Gibson.

It was what happened afterwards that still troubles Lopez. She said her kids were complaining about back pain after the impact and didn’t get medical attention from the school.

“I’m upset. I’m mad because I think they’re supposed to check out the kids, make sure they’re alright,” said Lopez.

Lopez’s son and daughter are ok now, but Lopez can’t help wondering what could have happened had she not rushed them to the hospital. Her other gripe is that it was her son—not school administrators, who told her about the accident, which is against protocol, according to Dattco.

“The proper procedure is for us to notify the school, and the school notifies the parents,” said Gibson.

Gibson said Dattco regrets the accident, and took steps to retrain the driver that was involved.

Lopez, however, is still concerned; she said both the school and bus company should do more to make safety a priority.

“[They should] do an investigation, and have somebody on the bus to watch the kids.”

NBC Connecticut tried reaching out to the Batchelder school for comment, but have yet to hear back.

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