Parents wants answers about Hillsborough bus safety after crash

Picture from Don Mihokovich via Twitter

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Parents of 31 students who were in a Hillsborough County school bus that crashed into a lake wanted answers Thursday afternoon when they met with Superintendent Jeff Eakins. It’s been one week since the bus crash.

“I just want concrete answers.  I don’t feel better.  I mean, I need answers.  I would feel better once my daughter has a safe driver and a safe bus that she can go to and from school,” parent Krishna Sadasivam told News Channel 8.

Dozens of parents gathered in a room at Mary Bryant Elementary Thursday night to talk with Eakins. They had plenty of questions about information they have received from the media – but not the district.

“For me it’s actually, why it’s taken a week for us to hear anything? We’ve had no official communication from the district. We were just like everybody else sitting at our computers, at our TVs trying to figure this out,” Jill Luecht said before the meeting.

“I have to drive him every day. Every time he sees a bus, he absolutely doesn’t want anything to do with it,” parent Nikko Pianetto said. Pianetto said the district wasn’t able to answer many of his questions.

“There just wasn’t answers, right. I think they came out to listen, which was good, but again finding out how many times they had to say, ‘We will find out,’ ‘We will get back to you,’ ‘We will look at that it,’ just seems so reactive,” Pianetto added.

Meanwhile, parents told News Channel 8 their children continue to heal from their emotional wounds caused by the accident. “My daughter’s been affected by this. She won’t’ go swimming. She won’t get on the bus, and we’re upset about it,” Tom Kilbane said.

The district maintains the driver, Lenoir Sainfimin, is to blame for the accident. Investigators found that he was speeding and say he was hitting the brakes and gas at the same time while trying to stop the bus. District leaders admit they do need to take a look at some of their procedures.

“We are going to work diligently to make sure that these processes are in place and that are reviewed, trained on and acted upon. Do we need to change the application process those little forensic types of things,” Hillsborough County School Board chairman Susan Valdes said.

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