School Bus Driver Charged in Dragging Death of 9-Year-Old Girl


70-year-old school bus driver Tendzin Parson has been charged with negligent motor vehicle manslaughter in connection with the dragging death of a 9-year-old Massachusetts girl.

Girl Became Trapped in School Bus Door

According to reports, the incident occurred last October as third-grader Summer Steele attempted to exit a school bus in Plainfield. The school bus closed on her, and she was dragged a short distance before the bus struck her.

Summer was rushed to Berkshire Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.

Parson told police that as he had dropped of two children at the stop, but failed to ensure that Summer was clear of the doors after seeing the other child run up her drive way.

The tragic accident has resulted in calls for sensors that would ensure riders have fully cleared school bus doors before the doors can close.

School Transportation Accident Statistics

  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 1,344 people killed in school-transportation-related crashes recorded between 2004 and 2013. This averages to 134 fatalities per year.
  • Of the 1,344 fatalities, only 8 percent were occupants of school transportation vehicles.
  • Most (71%) of the people who lost their lives in these crashes were occupants of other vehicles involved in the crashes.
  • Nonoccupants, including pedestrians, bicyclists, etc., accounted for 21 percent of the fatalities.
  • Among the 106 occupants killed in school transportation vehicles between 2004 and 2013, 45 were drivers and 61 were passengers.
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