Lawsuit filed in fatal Carroll County school bus crash

CARROLL COUNTY, Ky. - A lawsuit has been filed by the parents of two students on a bus that crashed, leading to the death of two pre-school-aged children, with the suit claiming negligence against the bus driver and the district.

Kentucky State Police say the two pre-school-aged children were pronounced dead after the school bus overturned on Oct. 29 on a narrow country road in Northern Kentucky.

Police identified the deceased children Tuesday as Ryder Deitz and Caroline Tuttle, both age 3.

Trooper Brad Arterburn said the bus was carrying nine children home from the pre-school program Head Start at Kathryn Winn Primary School in Carrollton when the bus overturned onto its side and struck a tree.

The parents who filed the lawsuit claim negligence, alleging the district ignored complaints about bus driver Laura Reed's driving prior to the crash. The kids of the parents filing suit both suffered broken bones in the crash.

The bus was taken to the Kentucky National Guard Armory in Carrollton, where an accident reconstruction team is inspecting the vehicle for mechanical or other factors that could have contributed to the crash.

Four children between the ages of 3 and 5 years old were taken by medical helicopter to a hospital in Louisville after the crash. According to a spokesperson at Kosair Children's Hospital, their injuries ranged from head injuries to broken bones.

Three other children on board the bus were released to their parents. One of those children returned to the hospital for observation, officials say.

The driver of the bus, Laura Reed, 59, of Carrollton, Ky. escaped unharmed. Arterburn said an adult aide, Tina Gividen, 52, of Carrollton, was also transported to the hospital.

Officials say the bus was equipped with seatbelts, and believe all the occupants were using them at the time of the crash.

KSP Accident Reconstructionist Dusty Corbin says it appears the driver overcorrected the wheel while driving on Boone Road. Why is not yet clear.

Blood samples have been taken from the driver, says Arterburn, to determine if drugs or alcohol played a role in the accident. The samples were taken to the KSP lab for analysis.

"It's a small country road, narrow country road," Arterburn told The Associated Press. "No lines, no center line on it. Right now we don't know what made the bus go out of control.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Stay with 9 News and WCPO.com for more information as it becomes available.


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