School bus driver charged with hitting students in crosswalk

Posted on: 8:10 pm, February 24, 2012, by , updated on: 11:10pm, February 24, 2012

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — The Colorado State Patrol issued a citation to the school bus driver who hit three teenage girls while they crossed the street.

The girls were hit Tuesday afternoon. Witnesses say they were in the crosswalk and they had the right of way.

The three middle school students were hit at the intersection of W. Brandt Pl. and S. Simms Street near Summit Ridge Middle School. All three girls will be OK.

The Jefferson County School District says Shaw was a substitute bus driver.

“Even with him having a green light and being allowed to turn, obviously there needs to be due caution if there are pedestrians. In this case, pedestrians in the crosswalk had the right of way and they were the ones who should have been able to go first,” CSP Trooper Josh Lewis told FOX31Denver.

David Shaw, 43, is charged with three counts of Careless Driving Causing Bodily Injury, one count for each girl, according to Trooper Lewis. Each charge is a misdemeanor.

Shaw faces up to three years in jail if convicted and up to a $3,000 fine.

Shaw was hired by Jefferson County Schools in October. He was convicted on a DUI in 1992 and he was going through alcohol rehabilitation treatment as recently 2009.

“He’s been in and out of rehab for several years,” an acquaintance of Shaw told FOX31Denver, declining to be identified. “At least as many years as I’ve known him, he’s been in and out and kicked out.”

The acquaintance,who has known Shaw for more than ten years, can’t believe Shaw was hired to drive school children.

The incident has at least one lawmaker saying it’s worth reviewing state laws.

“People who drive school buses should have impeccable driving records,” Says Rep.Claire Levy (D) Boulder. “We don’t want people driving our children around and driving in school zones that are a safety hazard.”

The school district is deciding Shaw’s future.

When asked whether Shaw would have been hired if the district had known he’d been in and out of addiction rehab treatment, a representative cited the American’s with Disabilities Act, which reads “‘It is illegal under state and federal disability laws to deny employment solely on the basis of a history of treatment for alcohol or substance abuse.”

Shaw worked for an RTD contractor, First Transit, from October 2010 until June 2011, FOX31 Denver confirmed. The company could not tell us why Shaw left

Related: Troubling questions surface about school bus driver’s past

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