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No students endangered in bus mishaps

COVINGTON - A bus driver misjudged her clearance and backed a Newton County school bus into her house Wednesday afternoon, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

Trooper Jeremiah Slayton said the accident occurred around noon and there were no students on the bus at the time.

"She was facing south, but backing north," Slayton explained. "She was backing up her driveway off Fincher Road and she misjudged her clearance and struck the soffit, or face boards where the gutters hang, of her house. She was backing up an incline so that put the bus up about as tall as the house," he said.

Slayton said the emergency exit door was creased and the right rear window of the bus was broken.

"I was really surprised (at how much damage it did)," he said. "It just hit on one of the weak parts of the bus. The top part was leaning toward you."

Slayton said he had no idea what the dollar amount of the damage to the bus would be, but added that all he saw in the way of damage to the home was "a scuff mark on the face board."

NCSS spokesperson Sherri Viniard said the school system would deal with damages to the bus at a later date.

"The Sheriff's Office and Georgia State Patrol came out to the scene and are handling the investigation," she said. "The school system will make a determination once the investigation is complete. We have insurance to cover the bus. The most important thing is that no children were on the bus and no one was injured."

Slayton said a few days prior to that incident, a bus driver in the parking lot of the new bus facility at Jack Neely and Kirkland roads was knocked down when she left her personal vehicle in reverse and it rolled.

He said that incident happened around 6:30 a.m. The driver, who was not seriously injured, had left the door of her vehicle open and tried to get back in to stop it from rolling, but was struck by the door. The vehicle came to rest against a bus, but it was not damaged.

"All the damage was to her personal vehicle," he said.