Video raises question about 'bee' in school bus crash

Video raises question about 'bee' in school bus crash
ORTING, Wash. -- The Washington State Patrol says charges are possible in last week's Orting school bus crash.

The driver said she was swatting a bee when the bus veered into a steep ditch, but just-released video shows her looking down at something at the time of the incident.

The 26 students were heading home from school last Monday afternoon with Sheera "Shar" Smith at the wheel when all of a sudden the bus left the road. The video shows the kids being jostled a bit, but it doesn't appear that anyone was thrown into the windows.

"I was looking down texting my friend listening to music and I heard screaming," 13-year old crash victim Bradley Schonauer said last week.

The school district says all of the students appeared to be safe in their seats and evacuated through a side door.

"I looked at the video and I was so blessed that all of the kids were safe," said Orting school superintendent Michelle Curry. "I was additionally happy that we bought the bus with the high backed seats and it was a brand new bus."

Smith said she crashed after becoming distracted by bee, but the newly-released video shows her looking down at something just before the wreck. Some some are wondering if she was texting while driving.

"I cannot say whether she was or wasn't," Curry said.

Smith was fired by the district for inattention to driving. The state patrol says if she was texting there's a chance she could face criminal charges for endangering the 26 students who were all given a clean bill of health by the first responding units.

However, Schoenauer and his parents say he actually was diagnosed with a slight concussion and bruised ribs at a local hospital. He told us last week he hit the side window and blacked out. But the superintendent says the video doesn't show how that could have happened.