Struthers bus driver given verbal warning for running stop sign

Struthers Superintendent Joe Nohra said the district's bus driver who ran a stop sign on Oct. 22 was given a verbal warning and will have to complete further training.
Struthers Superintendent Joe Nohra said the district's bus driver who ran a stop sign on Oct. 22 was given a verbal warning and will have to complete further training.

STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) – A Struthers City School district investigation to identify a bus driver who drove through a stop sign took two weeks. The district is not releasing that driver’s name.

But Superintendent Joe Nohra said his employee is owning up to what he did.

“He took full responsibility for it, and the Struthers Schools take full responsibility with it, too,” he said.

The bus driver received a verbal warning for running a stop sign at Frank Street and Snyder Avenue. That traffic violation was captured on camera by WKBN, sparking the internal investigation by the school district.

The bus driver will also go through more training, said Nohra.

But this is not the only bus problem that Nohra is facing in his district. The driver at the center of the investigation was filling in on October 22, because the regular driver, Karen Patterson, had been taken off the road.

A day earlier, Patterson was involved in a fender-bender at the exit ramp in Canfield while driving students to the county technical school. She took off without stopping and is now facing charges.

“We feel that we need other eyes watching our transportation department,” Nohra said of the incident.

The two events could lead to a complete overhaul of the district’s bus department. That could include a bus supervisor, something Struthers doesn’t currently have.

“Our board team, our administrative team, is looking at collaborating with another school system we’re in discussion with, because they do a wonderful and a great job with transportation, and we want to do a better job,” he said.

The changes won’t stop there. The district is asking for help from a state school organization.

“We’re asking the Ohio School Boards Association to audit our drivers, to audit our operation, our reporting, our training,” Nohra said. “Everything from drug testing to the safety training.”

Nohra said he is going to present all of this information to the school board at a special meeting on November 17. He’s also going to give all of the information about the stop sign incident that he gathered to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, which is already investigation.

The officers handling the investigation for Highway Patrol were not on duty Friday, but earlier this week, they said they were trying to determine if they could ticket the driver since they weren’t actually there when WKBN filmed him running the stop sign.

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