VIDEO: Lexington man indicted after student nearly hit by SUV while getting off school bus
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - A Lexington man accused of nearly hitting a teenager getting off a school bus has been indicted.
It happened on September 19 as 14-year-old Travis Mason was getting off the bus on Louisville Road, north of Frankfort.
“He came inside and said, ‘Mom, I think you need to come outside, I was almost hit,’ said Callie Mason, Travis’s mother. “I didn’t understand the magnitude.”
Surveillance video from the bus shows the SUV pass the bus on the right side, running off the road, and even knocking over a mailbox:
The sheriff’s office says the driver is 56-year-old Mark Kendall of Lexington.
Kendall was initially cited on improper passing charges but, on Tuesday, the Franklin County grand jury returned a three-count indictment charging him with passing an unloading or loading school or church bus, improper passing and wanton endangerment.
According to the indictment, Kendall is accused of “manifesting extreme indifference to human life,” and “wantonly engaged in conduct which created substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to another person,”
“I knew the endangerment was going to be there, but it to the extent. I didn’t know to the extent but I am really glad it is,” said Callie Martin.
Kendall received a criminal summons but was not arrested. He is supposed to appear in Franklin Circuit Court on November 4.
Education leaders say this is a problem throughout the state. The Kentucky Education Association even launched a public service campaign recently giving out these posters to encourage drivers to pay attention at bus stops.
“We would hope citizens would know and understand that anytime you see a bus stopped, there is precious cargo on that bus,” said Eddie Campbell, Kentucky Education Association. “The stop sign is out and the lights are flashing. They need to stop. To make sure students get off safely or board safely.”
Franklin County school officials say it’s been common for drivers to ignore school bus stop arms, with a recent study showing 18 instances in one day.
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