Prosecutor: No criminal charges in accident that killed principal

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Susan Jordan (Photo courtesy of IndyStar)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 11, 2016) — No criminal charges will be filed in the accident that led to the death of Amy Beverland Elementary School Principal Susan Jordan, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office said Thursday.

Jordan was killed and two children injured after a school bus jumped a curb and hit them. Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said the crash was a tragic accident that didn’t warrant criminal charges. Jordan pushed several students out of the way before she was hit.

Curry said the driver wasn’t impaired in any way; no alcohol or controlled substances were found in a blood sample taken from the driver. In the absence of impairment, Curry said, Indiana law states that negligence does not elevate an accident to criminal level.

The driver disengaged the parking brake and moved the shifter into the forward position. The driver stood up from her seat without moving the shifter into neutral or rengaging the parking brake. When she stood up, the bus moved forward and she couldn’t stop it before it hit Jordan.

An inspection of the bus showed no mechanical defects.

“This tragic accident and the loss of Principal Susan Jordan has impacted many in our local community and in the education community nationwide,” Curry said. “Our sympathy goes to the family, friends, and extended network of students, parents and educators who knew Mrs. Jordan.”

Lawrence Township School officials expressed their gratitude for the public’s support following the prosecutor’s announcement.

“These have been challenging days,” said MSD of Lawrence Township Superintendent, Dr. Shawn Smith. “While challenges remain, we hope this represents another step toward healing for our school and our community.”

The school says now that the investigation is complete, they will continue their focus on the students and getting them back to their normal schedules.

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