The Butler County attorney's office has filed formal charges against a school bus driver in connection to an accident that injured several Douglass students and the driver.
Morris Peterson, 63, was driving a school bus for USD 396 Oct. 31. He said he came to a low-water bridge at Muddy Creek while driving south on Hopkins Switch Road. He told troopers he saw water flowing over the bridge, but decided to try and cross it, because he did not think it was dangerous.
The fast-flowing water caused the bus to float, and the right tire went over the bridge, Peterson said in a report filed by the KHP.
"I am scared. And like I said over and over again. I would give my life for any one of those kids and it's not just because of this incident, that's the kind of person I am," said Peterson.
During court documents filed Friday, prosecutors charged Peterson with one count of endangering a child and reckless driving. Both are misdemeanor charges.
"Peterson did, unlawfully, knowingly and unreasonable cause or permit 10 children under the age of thirteen to be placed in a situation in which the child's life, body or health may be endangered," the court documents read.
A final report filed by the KHP this week found Peterson misjudged the edge of the bridge railing, and drove the passenger side of the bus off the south side of the bridge. The water helped push the bus over onto its side into the water.
The students were able to exit the bus through an emergency exit door on the drivers side of the bus. Rescue crews managed pull the driver out of the bus.
Some students received minor injuries. The bus driver was taken to a Wichita hospital for treatment. He has since been released.
"I didn't know if it would come to this or not, I hoped and prayed that it wouldn't but God has his hand in everything and i think this is happening for a reason and I believe God will see me through it," said Peterson.
Peterson is expected to return to court January 8.
Peterson told Eyewitness News he's lost his job and doesn't have the money for a lawyer.
Rob Reynolds, USD 396 Superintendent, confirmed Peterson is no longer employed by the Douglass School District. The Douglass Board Of Education voted to accept his resignation at the November 11th regular board meeting.