Investigation into fatal bus crash changes hands

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The investigation into the March 20 death of a 2-year-old Grovetown child who was struck by a school bus has been forwarded to the district attorney's office for further review, Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said Monday.

Authorities say Kole A. Ford, of the 400 block of Wilkins Road, was killed when he either ran in front of or under the school bus as it pulled away from a stop in front of his home on a narrow, private dirt road.

"It is not unusual to send an investigation to the district attorney's office for review, especially in cases involving a death," Capt. Morris said.

The investigation focused on how the incident occurred and whether any charges should be filed.

The bus, No. 215, serves Brookwood Elementary School and was driven by Candy Hammett, 37, of Grovetown.

District Attorney Danny Craig said his office has received the investigation and will determine whether prosecution is warranted.

Reach Valerie Rowell at (706) 868-1222, ext. 110, or valerie.rowell@augustachronicle.com.

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butterflygina
132
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butterflygina 04/10/07 - 08:29 am
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I hope CPS is involved with

I hope CPS is involved with the family to ensure the other children's safety and that they are getting all the support they need.

stillamazed
1488
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stillamazed 04/10/07 - 08:38 am
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I'm sorry for the family and

I'm sorry for the family and for the precious child who was killed and I don't intend to seem mean but I hold the mother responsible for that child. She had been asked to keep the child away from the road. Buses cannot see small children like that and it is the parents responsiblity to protect their children. I hope that the bus driver isn't held responsible, I am sure she is upset about what happened but I certainly don't think she should be charged. It is a tragedy all around.

sarah
0
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sarah 04/10/07 - 08:47 am
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I feel that the mother should

I feel that the mother should also be held responsible for the horrible dath. What was the child doing out by the road, no less, across the street by himself? I do not know the family for the bus driver, but I am sure this haunts them both night and day. If the owner did not wants the school bus on the raod, then he should have stepped forward and told them not to come down the road. What if a lost person was on the raod and hit the child, would it be the same reaction? What if it was a family member the child was excited to see and they accidently struck him?Would there be the same investigation? NO!!!

alethia
1
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alethia 04/10/07 - 10:32 am
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This child and all other

This child and all other innocent children rely on responsible adults for their safety. Was this accident preventable is the question ? I believe it was and there are several contributing factors and multiple people that were negligent. The parents are naturally going to be #1 because the child was playing in an unsafe area. The parents could have taken action not allowing the bus to drive inside the trailer park before the child was ran over..they have taken this action now, have'nt they? #2 would be the school bus driver. She knowingly took that bus down that tiny lane even though there was a safety issue with a parent acting irresponsibly for their child. So why do you continue to put yourself and child in jepardy ?#3 would be the county for approving this revised bus route submitted by the bus driver and not even checking it out first. I really have a problem with what the superintendent said..that the policy is they can go on private property until the owner complains ? Come on now...this is an educator? According to CCBOE policy stated on their public web site...only the DIRECTOR OF TRANSPORTATION can approve a bus route change. #4 is Les Agner, owner of the trailer park.

whyme
1089
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whyme 04/10/07 - 01:29 pm
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I am baffled. A child ran out

I am baffled. A child ran out in front of a bus. The bus didn't run up on the grass after the child. Why in the world is this even an issue? A child ran out in the street the other day and was hit (though didn't die, thank God). Nothing more was said. What's the difference? Why doesn't someone press charges against the family for neglect? Because it was an accident. Leave the bus driver alone. If the child had been hit by a car on that street, and if it was out there a lot, it could have happened, nothing would have been said.

dreadlux01
0
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dreadlux01 04/11/07 - 09:26 am
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I'm kinda in agreement with

I'm kinda in agreement with fizast. But at the same time that child was in the care of his parents who have the ultimate responsibility for his safety and well-being. If and when any charges are pressed, the driver's name should not even come up at all! I'm also really not sure any punishment should come to the parents, if this was truly an accident, because the pain of losing this child is enough.

whyme
1089
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whyme 04/11/07 - 01:17 pm
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People are so quick to sue

People are so quick to sue and I'm not saying I wouldn't feel inclined to question this situation if it was my child who was hit. But if we all don't stop pointing the finger at others, we are sunk. I couldn't believe an entire show was on tv about botched brain surgery. Not that the man didn't have a valid concern but his doctor is a good man, too. Should we start airing every legal incident and only one side at that?

bs2hgb
0
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bs2hgb 04/11/07 - 02:03 pm
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I agree with the others that

I agree with the others that said it's the parent's responsibility. A 2 year old outside by the street? How ridiculous is that?!?! The parent should have been with the child and none of this would have happened, much less waste time about the driver being at fault. I'm sure that the child's death will remain with the driver the rest of her life. Being punished for such an accident shouldn't even be in question. If this accident would have been someplace else, on another street, or if someone would have hit the bus and hurt someone, there wouldn't be a big deal about it. Yes, it's a tragedy that this little child was killed but punishing the driver isn't going to help. She is not and was not responsible for the child, the parent or caretaker or guardian of the child that day was. It's about time people grow up and stop blaming others for their own stupid and horrendous mistakes. Also, it doesn't matter what particular county this happened in. It could have happened anywhere with any child, regardless of race, age, or locality. If the school approved her route, she was following what she was hired to do regardless of whether it was narrow or not.

shiloh
0
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shiloh 04/11/07 - 05:20 pm
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what they don't tell is that

what they don't tell is that the poor busdriver is in a terrible state of mind and unresponsive. She blames herself just like anybody would even though she is NOT responsible for that poor babys death. SHE WARNED THE PARENT OVER AND OVER ABOUT THE CHILD RUNNING OUT IN THE ROAD. The parent is MOST definately responsible for the death of her child.

shiloh
0
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shiloh 04/11/07 - 05:31 pm
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and alethiaplace.... most of

and alethiaplace.... most of your comment would have made much more sense if your font was white. the private road that the bus traveled on was and is safe! the people who live there and have children fought to get the bus to go down that road so that they didn't have to walk up the street to drop off and pick up their children at a designated bus stop. a child can run out in the middle of any street and get struck by a vehicle if the parent isn't paying close enough attention.

alethia
1
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alethia 04/11/07 - 08:42 pm
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Thank You shiloh....you just

Thank You shiloh....you just helped me make my point.....you said quote:" SHE WARNED THE PARENT OVER AND OVER ABOUT THE CHILD RUNNING OUT IN THE ROAD" What I said was...the busdriver knowingly CONTINUED to drive her bus through that one lane road even though there was a parent being IRRESPONSIBLE for their child. SO why do you CONTINUE to put yourself and the child in jepardy ????? I'm not here to argue with people and their opinions....that is your right. But when you start taking cheap shots at me personally, expect to get it back. You don't know what you're talking about. The people in the trailer park are renters...they do not have the right to fight for the school bus to come into property they don't own. Those same people you claim wanted the bus to come in there have it blocked off now. They don't really have a right to do that either. A property owner can be held liable for an accident that occured on their property, so you becareful who comes in your driveway. And for future reference a FONT is a chraracter size.....not a color.

jessie2007
0
Points
jessie2007 04/12/07 - 08:01 am
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I feel that the bus driver is

I feel that the bus driver is not at fault.. If the mother had been watching her child, then the child would not have been hit!!! The driver warned that mother time after time, and sent in a complaint two to three times, and the mother still did not detain her child. The child was running beside the bus, if the mother would have told her child not to go near the bus, her child would still be alive.!. this is my opinion, and I stand behind it..!!.. almost all the students at my school will too!

Drama Mamma
0
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Drama Mamma 04/12/07 - 09:20 am
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Im sorry but I think the

Im sorry but I think the mother should have been watching that baby a Two year old has no buisness around a bus and the mother should have made sure of that we are to protect our children so where was she at that time she should be charged with neglet this should have never happen and from what I hear the bus driver had told her over and over again to keep him away from the bus. No one in there right mind would have ever let there child run along the side of a bus I mean come on people this is a case of neglet. I feel for the Mother but you should have been watching your son. MY KOLE REST IN PIECE GOD BLISS YOU CHILD AND FROM ALL OF AUGUSTA WE LOVE YOU.

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