LAFAYETTE – On January 14th, a bus driven by LPSS driver Rachel Simon was involved in a hit and run while transporting kids to Ossun Elementary. Apparently, parents were not notified until the next day, and one family is still stuck dealing with the aftermath.
Says Niaja Jones, “We were notified a day late, she left the scene of a hit and run, and none of the children were checked for any kind of injuries or anything like that.”
The vehicle that hit Simon’s bus immediately fled the scene. That’s when emergency dispatch was called, according to a police report.
Explains Jones, whose children were riding the bus at the time, “She immediately told dispatch that ‘I have to finish my bus route, I’ll come back.’ And that’s what she did. She dropped all of her students off and came back.”
Jones, who used to work as a dispatch officer, says this should have never happened.
“The first question we ask, ‘Are their children on board?’ They say yes, we instantly send police and paramedics. We don’t care if there’s injuries or not, we send them anyway,” explains the former dispatch officer.
However, Jania Jones, the daughter of Niajia, who already suffers from a heart condition, informed her parents after school of lingering head pain.
“She had a headache that evening. My husband gave her Tylenol,” continues Jones, “She had a headache the next day, and I had to take her to her doctor. They did a stability test and they diagnosed her with a mild concussion.”
It wasn’t until the 15th, the next day, that LPSS informed parents of the incident.
“You all put a up a Facebook page,” says Jones, referring to the recently created LPSS Transportation Facebook page, “You didn’t put that on Facebook. They didn’t put that on Facebook. I’m still looking for an update and it’s still not there.”
In fact the only post from that day on the LPSS Transportation page mentions Simon’s bus having ‘mechanical issues.’
Ever since then, Jones has had to jump through hoops – from transportation to risk management – to get some answers.
“There was no, ‘Okay, are they okay? I’m sorry this happened.’ There was no sympathy, empathy, nothing,” adds Jones.
According to the police report, there is no report of Niaja’s daughter children being on that bus. Of course, the police report wasn’t filled out until after Simon returned to the scene.
Chief administrative officer Joe Craig tells News 15 that LPSS is more than willing to assist with the insurance companies and law enforcement while they are currently investigating this matter.