SPRINGVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) — The driver of the bus that killed a 7-year-old Springville girl in November will not face criminal charges, following dual investigations by the Erie County sheriff’s and district attorney’s office.
The only thing this school bus driver is facing, is the equivalent of a traffic ticket, for failing to use due care.
Alyssa Hearn’s death struck a chord with the Springville community, hundreds of which came together just days after the little girl was pinned under her bus after school — to offer comfort, and remember a student who, according to her family, loved cheerleading, dancing, butterflies, bugs, toads and her baby brother.
Seven months after the girl was laid to rest, the agencies investigating how the incident happened determined it was nothing more than a tragic accident, and that the driver was not at fault.
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said he had two choices on how to proceed with his investigation.
“We have a situation here where there’s two potential charges,” he said. “There’s vehicular manslaughter, and there’s criminally negligent homicide.”
In the end, there wasn’t enough evidence to pursue either charge.
“I don’t believe the bus driver knew she got off the bus because the investigation showed that this little girl’s brother got off the bus before her,” Flynn said. “And the brother passed in front of the bus. And the bus driver perceived, watched the little brother get off the bus and didn’t see the little girl.”
“Once she saw the kids clear, she watched the kids clear in the mirror, she then proceeded to go, and at the same time she proceeded to go, the investigation showed, is the exact same time the girl started walking in front. And it’s just a terrible accident … Awful, it’s an awful accident.”
The driver pleaded guilty in May to the traffic infraction, paid a fine and received two points on her license.