SACRAMENTO COUNTY (CBS13) – A Sacramento County school bus driver is now on administrative leave after a student captured the driver using her phone and driving at the same time.
The student recorded the incident Friday morning but says the driver has been driving and using her phone since the beginning of the school year.
Ten-year-old Bella Sirugo says the driver also yells at the students on the bus and exhibits road rage.
“Are we gonna get into an accident today? What’s gonna happen? It scares me really bad,” said Bella.
It’s the dreaded question Bella asked herself every morning since she started the fifth grade.
“Sometimes I make myself late on purpose because I didn’t want to get on her bus,” she said.
She says the bus driver who picks her up can’t resist putting her phone down while driving.
Bella recorded the bus driver in the act Friday morning, and, in the video, panned off to the road to show the driver was actually moving while using her phone.
“When she showed me that video I thought she has at least a half-hour left to get to school and I hope she makes it there,” said Bella’s mother, Natasha Sirugo.
Natasha was furious when she saw the video, and immediately called the San Juan Unified School District to voice her concerns.
“They said, ‘come Monday don’t be surprised if that same bus driver shows up.’ And I said, ‘what do you mean?’ They said, ‘we are understaffed,’” Natasha added.
A school district spokesperson they have not received any complaints about the bus driver in the past, but say they’re now investigating the allegations.
“We have some video footage to review from the bus; we have interviews to conduct and some records to look at,” said Raj Rai, a spokeswoman for the district.
Rai says the bus driver in question will be dealt with accordingly once the investigation wraps up.
Thankful her daughter came home in one piece Friday, Natasha Sirugo says she’s proud of Bella for stepping up.
Bella says she’s relieved to hear the driver is on leave and says she hopes the decision is permanent.
“I would like to see them get rid of her and have a friendly bus driver.”
The school district says it does not monitor video footage inside school buses unless an incident is brought to their attention.
Rai didn’t say when the district expects to wrap its investigation.