McDonald County bus passed inspection the day before fire

There is no official cause
McDonald County bus passed inspection the day before fire

On Tuesday morning, April 23rd, a McDonald County school bus caught on fire.

The bus driver pulled into a nearby farm to safely evacuate the students from the bus before flames emerged.

The transportation department’s director, Clyde Davidson, says that bus had passed the state highway patrols routine inspection the day before,

“It passed inspections the day before the fire erupted, it went through the inspection no problem, everything we had that failed were a number of lights on a stoplight that were out, a break light that was out, minor instances like that.”

Davidson says the official cause of the fire is undetermined but that it may be electrical.

“It’s a very unusual occurence. It’s much more common in a semi or a regular car to have these issues then in record in what their buses do, so just a kind of a fluke deal I think, I don’t really know and I don’t think anyone can determine what the actual cause was.”

The school buses are inspected from head to toe on a regular bases by the transportation department as well as a routine check in July and August. The State highway patrol has an annual routine inspection in the spring, with some spot checks in the fall.

“I think our buses are 100 percent safe or we wouldn’t have them out there. We check them daily, different buses daily if there is an issue we don’t put the bus out there, if there is a repair that needs to be made it’s done up to manufacturere’s requirements.”

McDonald County school districts superintendent Mark Stanton is not worried about the safety of the buses, despite this incident.

“You can’t predict the future, you know you can just do the best you can to make sure our buses are safe with the inspections and making sure the mechanics do all the checks that they can do.”

Stanton says there is always room for improvement.

“Our mission is every child, every day, whatever it takes, this is just another one of those pieces of whatever it takes so whatever we can do to be better we want to be better.”

There are 66 buses in the fleet for McDonald County. The spring inspections just took place at the beginning of the week but the official report is not yet released.