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Passionate, Proud Advocates

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Distracted driving could have caused crash of Oklahoma school bus

An Oklahoma school principal is alleged to have been using his cellphone when the bus he was driving crashed and left 27 adults and children injured.

Norman Public Schools has been asked to release the video taken inside the bus as the elementary school principal was driving the children to an outing at Sea World in San Antonio last Sept. 29.

The Texas Highway Patrol asked the district to provide the video to assist in the investigation, but newspaper reports said the district has declined to do so. The most recent request came from the family of a girl seriously injured in the crash.

The principal has denied he was using his phone, and his attorney has asked media outlets to retract any report that he was.

The judge in the Cleveland County District Court hasn’t ruled on the request.

The Texas Department of Public Safety cited speed as a cause of the crash in its report. Injured in the crash were three adults and 24 fifth-graders, all girls. The bus is believed to have hydroplaned on a wet road, then rolled over and struck a fence. Three children and two teachers suffered serious injuries.

The police report said the principal lost control of the bus after taking “faulty evasive action.”

No matter what the cause, this was a serious crash that could have left a number of passengers with serious injuries – or worse. Once the investigation concludes, the principal could face charges in Texas. The injured adults and the families of the children, however, have the right to seek compensation in an Oklahoma court for any medical bills that resulted from the crash.

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