Mom outraged over school bus incident

Saw picture of daughter's school bus with rail road crossing arm on bus

By Ashley Harding - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Jacksonville mother is outraged over the news that her daughter's school bus was stopped over a railroad crossing with the arm stuck on top.

It's a story only Channel 4 brought to you Friday -- a woman showed us a picture of the Durham School Service bus stopped at the railroad crossing with the arm resting on top of it.

Now, Penny Laughrey is opening up to Channel 4, along with her daughter.

Laughrey says 14-year-old daughter was coming home from Dupont Middle School when the incident happened. She said she had no idea it had even occurred until she saw Channel 4's broadcast.

Now, she wants something done.
"It freaked me out," Laughrey said. "I woke her up at 10:00. I said, 'I just seen your bus on TV'."

Even two days after Laughrey saw the picture on TV, she's still in shock.

The picture shows a Durham School Services bus stuck underneath a railroad crossing arm at San Marco and Gary. It's the bus she says her 14-year-old daughter Stephanie was riding.  

"It's unsatisfactory work of a bus driver, Laughrey said. "That's not acceptable. The bus was full of children coming home from school."

It's still unknown how the bus driver got in this situation, but 14-year-old Stephanie says students were forced to wait nearly a half hour as two trains crossed.

She says the time waiting was nothing short of chaos.

"Everybody was like, 'oh my God!'. Everybody was sticking their heads out trying to feel the arm," Stephanie said. "From the other side of the bus, I stuck my head out, I could see the arm all the way out across the top of the bus."  

A spokesperson with Duval County Public Schools issued this statement:
"Durham School Services has informed us that an investigation is underway, and in accordance with standard procedures, the driver will be pulled, pending an outcome of the investigation."

Stephanie tells us overall she likes her bus driver, who she says had never made her nervous before.

But her mother demands action.   

"I need the bus driver to be either re-trained or fired," Laughrey said. She likes her school bus driver, but she put them in too much danger at that point."  

Channel 4 also reached out to Durham School Services, but have not heard back.

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