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Diversion finalized for driver of Douglass school bus that went into creek

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, April 2, 2014, at 12:13 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, April 2, 2014, at 12:36 p.m.

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A diversion agreement was finalized Wednesday for the driver of the Douglass school bus that went into a creek with 10 children aboard last fall.

The agreement was reached with Morris “Joe” Peterson after he faced misdemeanor criminal charges of child endangerment and reckless driving, Butler County assistant attorney Brett Sweeney said.

Sweeney declined to give specifics about the agreement. But Gail Jensen, Peterson’s attorney, said charges would be dismissed if Peterson doesn’t break any laws for the next 12 months.

Peterson, 64, pleaded not guilty in January to charges resulting from the incident on Oct. 31. During an afternoon route, the bus was pushed off the road by high water and landed on its side in swollen Muddy Creek as Morris tried to cross a low-water bridge, according to a Kansas Highway Patrol accident report.

One child was slightly injured, and Peterson sustained a back injury. He’s no longer employed as a driver for the Douglass school district.

Reach Rick Plumlee at 316-268-6660 or rplumlee@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rickplumlee.

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