Former Louisville, Kentucky school bus driver Melinda Sanders is facing a lawsuit after a video showed her dragging a 6-year-old girl who got stuck in the doors of the bus.
In the bus-camera footage of the incident, the child can be seen attempting to leave the bus before her backpack became caught in the doors. She attempted to free herself but was offered mere seconds before Sanders started to drive from the stop. She continued to drive for at least 1,000 feet before she noticed and stopped.
The child suffered nerve damage and PTSD, and has undergone multiple surgeries, per Local 12.
For the majority of the video, another person—presumably a child—stands almost directly next to the driver, evidently never directing their gaze toward the door until nearly a minute passes. Footage also seems to show various items on the dashboard blocking Sanders’ view, and it took another car honking at her before she realized what was happening.
WPSD reports that Sanders (who has been fired) and the Jefferson County School District are facing a lawsuit over claims of negligence after the child she dragged from the bus doors sustained serious injuries. Attorneys for the family of the child have accused the driver and school district of breaking 16 integral bus-driving rules the day the incident happened.
“The loading and unloading of children is the moment of truth. Let nothing distract you,” said one of the attorneys in court.
“Yes,” Sanders replied.
“What does that mean to you?” the attorney asked.
“It means a lot to me, and I wish, Mr. Paulus, that I had followed that, that day,” said Sanders. “I can’t take that day back.”
The footage is embedded below; viewer discretion is advised: