Police conclude that boy, 11, fell from school bus

no charges filed

September 22, 2004|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

Baltimore County police said yesterday that they have concluded that the Old Court Middle School pupil injured in a fall from a moving school bus this month was not pushed from the vehicle.

The finding that the boy accidentally fell from the bus after someone opened its rear emergency door concludes the police investigation into the Sept. 7 accident with no charges filed, said Officer Shawn Vinson, a police spokesman. Police had previously determined that no charges would be filed against the 81-year-old bus driver.

The bus driver told police the pupils were noisy, and that he didn't realize the emergency door had opened and that Sedrick Alexander Bailey, 11, a seventh-grader, had fallen out, according to a police report.

Pupils told police that they yelled at the driver to stop when Sedrick fell out at Coronado and Kenbridge roads near Milford Mill Academy, but the driver didn't stop, according to the report.

A lawyer retained by the boy's family disputed the police conclusion, saying that a pupil aboard the bus said Sedrick was pushed and that, just after the fall, Sedrick told a neighbor - the first adult on the scene - that he had been pushed.

Vinson said investigators interviewed the driver and 28 pupils aboard the bus at the time of the accident. One pupil said he "believed" that Sedrick had been pushed but wasn't sure, according to the police report.

Police concluded that the open emergency door, Sedrick standing on the bus and the driver's failure to hear the door alarm and stop contributed to the accident, the report said.

Sedrick, who suffered head injuries and was briefly on life support, was released yesterday from Sinai Hospital, said his lawyer, Joanna S. Pharr.

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