Columbus police release report on deadly school bus crash

COLUMBUS, Ga. -- Startling video of a deadly bus crash in Muscogee County was obtained by News 3's media partner The Ledger Enquirer.

Last year's crash on Garrett Road killed the driver, 67-year-old Roy Newman, and injured several elementary students.

The crash report states Newman was not wearing his seat belt, and was a main factor in the accident occurring.

Another conclusion made in the report deals with the ability to control the bus.

"For some reason he left the road again. These are all control issues," Muscogee County school board member Frank Myers said. "The mailbox, running off the road, running the lady off the road and the wide turn. These are all control issues. The issue was what caused those control issues."

According to the CPD report, the bus' power steering had problems the week before the accident.

The report went on to say the power steering of the bus was fully operational at the time of the crash.

Newman ran over a mailbox and drove off the road after making a wide turn before the crash.

A few seconds later, Newman turned around with one hand on the wheel to tell a little girl to sit down.

At this point, he drove over the middle line, tried to correct the bus and got thrown from the driver's seat.

"I respect the Columbus Police Department," Myers said. "I think they've done a thorough investigation, but I'm not completely sold on the report."

One of the things that makes Myers skeptical of the report was the way in which he believes the school district handled the aftermath of the crash.

"Why did the school district turn to this defensive posture immediately?" Myers asked. "Why did the school board lawyer invoke the attorney-client privilege to the police officer when the police officer came to question him if you're not trying to hide something?"

The attorney Myers is referring to is Greg Ellington. In the report, Ellington tells an officer he would have to answer carefully any questions asked and consider attorney-client privilege due to the fact that he is representing the school district.


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