CMS to review bus stop in intersection after WBTV investigation

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Charlotte parent says she was on her way home Wednesday afternoon after picking up her child from school when she saw a school bus do what she believes was very dangerous.

Kimberly Deaton says she saw the bus, #795, turn and stop in the middle of an intersection to drop students off.

"I witnessed the bus pull out of the parkway here, and then stopped abruptly right in the middle of the intersection and started unloading children. And I was in shock," Deaton said.

Deaton says this happened in Pineville at the intersection of Johnston Road and McMullen Creek Parkway. Parents tell us students on the bus attend Smithfield Elementary School. Deaton says she didn't see the school bus stop arms out but the walk arm was deployed. She says she didn't see lights flashing on the bus to warn drivers to stop.

"This is a huge safety concern," Deaton said. "I am a mother of two children and in a split second something can happen. And in a situation like that, it can't be good."

Deaton sent the video to WBTV. You can see the bus stopped in the intersection and dropping off kids. WBTV sent the picture to Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District (CMS) for comment.

While CMS reviewed the pictures, WBTV went to the same bus stop Thursday afternoon and saw bus #795 stop again stop in the middle of the intersection. Parents waiting for their kids are concerned.

"They are at the intersection right there, so it's really not safe," Lois Williams said. "They really need to pull up where they are supposed to, which is right down here and let the kids off."

Parents say kids as young as 5 years old get dropped off at the bus stop that's in the middle of the intersection.

"Everybody's parents are not out here and every child is not going to know not to be in the intersection. Every car doesn't stop like it is supposed to," Williams said.

Parents say they are nervous and worried when picking up their kids.

"It's quite dangerous because there are a bunch of cars," Morayma Ojeda said.

CMS sent a statement concerning bus number 795.

"It has been determined that the stop is in the correct place, but could be closer to the curb," CMS  Exec. Director of Communications Renee McCoy said. "Transportation services is going to re-route to add a greater barrier.  You will notice that the walk arm is deployed but not the stop arm or lights. CMS transportation will be reviewing this incident further as well with the driver."

Parents hope CMS will respond to their request.

"There are parents who rely on this transportation to get their kids to and from school safely," Deaton said. "And what I witnessed yesterday - the safety of these children and the bus driver do not seem to be the number one priority."

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