Police find nothing mechanically wrong with bus involved in fatal elementary school crash

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (January 27, 2016) – Indiana State Police investigated the school bus involved in the crash outside of Amy Beverland Elementary School yesterday, and they found nothing mechanically wrong with the bus.

Bus 244 had previously been inspected and approved with no issues on January 22, 2016.

Veteran educator Susan Jordan was killed when the bus that had been stopped somehow lurched forward and jumped a curb during dismissal time. The bus was full of children ready to head home.

Two 10-year-old students were seriously injured and transported to Riley Children’s Hospital, but their injuries are non-life threatening.

The bus driver told first responders she saw Jordan push other students out of the way and to safety.

“Children were saved, and that’s what our brave leader Mrs. Jordan would have wanted always, the children first, and the lesson is that she was brave and she was a hero. And they can be a hero, too,” said Denna Renbarger, Lawrence Township District Administrator.

Wednesday afternoon colleagues remembered the woman who dedicated her life to helping children learn and succeed as principal of Amy Beverland Elementary for 22 years.

Those who worked closely with her said she delivered routine announcements to students and made sure the children in the building knew her on a personal level, as more than just a principal.

“She was just the most amazing boss, mentor, friend, second mom that anyone could have,” said Jamie Strebing, Information Specialist at Amy Beverland.

Jordan was an educator through and through but most importantly for many, she was a friend.

“Susan Jordan was much more than the principal of my children’s school. She was my friend. She was an amazing leader,” said Amy Bilyeu, President of the Amy Beverland Parent Faculty Organization.

A team of three officers inspected bus #244 after the crash. Indiana State Police said the only violation found was damage as a result of the accident.

“There (were) no mechanical violations noted that contributed to the crash,” said Sgt. Chris Kath, Indiana State Police, School Bus Safety Coordinator,” No mechanical violations were found during the inspection.”

Kath said there is video of the crash from bus 244 and a neighboring bus, along with more on-board information currently being reviewed by investigators.

“It does have a GPS system and an engine monitoring device that shows engine RPMs and specific engine information,” he said.

IMPD is in charge of the overall crash investigation, while ISP is handing the investigation of the bus itself. ISP will provide their results to IMPD.

Lt. Richard Riddle with IMPD said Wednesday the crash report could take up to a week to compile, as investigators still have adult witnesses to interview.

Investigators are also awaiting the female driver’s toxicology results, but police said she showed no signs of impairment at the scene and voluntarily consented to a blood draw.

The Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township said the driver has no history of moving violations or any discipline issues and called her a model employee. They’re withholding her name and tenure with the district, citing the ongoing investigation.

IMPD said once complete the investigation will be forwarded to the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

Classes will resume Thursday in all MSD Lawrence Township schools, except Amy Beverland and the Early Learning Center at Amy Beverland. Classes at those facilities will start back on Monday, February 1.


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