All involved students appear to have suffered minor injuries, bus driver cited for careless driving

Some Molalla middle and high school students hopped on a bus after school Monday, but instead of being dropped off at home, they ended up in a ditch.

CCSO - The Molalla River School District bus is shown here in the ditch Monday, Feb. 11 on S. Union Mills near S. Jordan.

Clackamas County Sheriff's deputies, Molalla police and Molalla Fire responded to the scene on Monday, Feb. 11, where the bus had gone into a ditch on S. Union Mills Road near S. Jordan.

According to county police, the bus driver was cited. Molalla Superintendent Tony Mann added that the driver was cited for careless driving, but was not arrested.

"He has been removed from route driving at this time," Mann said.

Some students suffered injuries, but none were transferred by ambulance, according to police. Paramedics were on scene, but released the students to their families.

"One reportedly suffered a bloody nose and several complained of being sore," police said.

CCSO - The bus was carrying middle and high school students.

Mann followed up with the involved families to learn more.

"A number of families took their student to the doctor that evening," Mann said. "The families with whom I've spoken have indicated their student experienced minor bumps and bruises. Some indicated they also had a headache.

"All are erring on the side of caution to make sure their kids are OK," Mann continued, "and that's exactly what I'd do as a parent myself."

When news broke, several parents came to the driver's defense.

"This is my son's bus driver and he really likes him," Tami Delazerda said. "He's been driving him the past two years."

When Delazerda's son got wind of some negative responses toward the driver, he told Delazerda, "People are stupid; they don't even know him!"

"I get it; kids were on the bus and it was scary for them," Delazerda said. "But I am sure he was scared also and feels horrible about it. Those bus drivers have our kids in their hands, and if my son likes someone and feels comfortable with them, then I know he must be a good person."

Mann said he is working with First Student to understand where they intend to go with their investigation and response.

"I am sorry our students and families had this very frightening experience," Mann said.

This story has been updated.

Kristen Wohlers
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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