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February 24, 2014

Trial set for driver of Douglass school bus that went into creek

A bench trial has been set for April 2 for the driver of a Douglass school bus, who is facing misdemeanor criminal charges that resulted from his bus overturning in a creek last fall.

A bench trial has been set for April 2 for the driver of a Douglass school bus, who is facing misdemeanor criminal charges that resulted from his bus overturning in a creek last fall.

Morris “Joe” Peterson’s attorney requested the trial during Monday’s hearing, Butler County Assistant Attorney Alice Burns said.

Peterson, 64, pleaded not guilty in January to charges of one count of child endangerment and one count of reckless driving.

Ten children were aboard the bus during an afternoon route on Oct. 31, when the bus was pushed off the road by high water and into swollen Muddy Creek as Morris tried to cross a low-water bridge, according to a Kansas Highway Patrol accident report.

The only child who was injured was treated and released the same day from a hospital. Peterson sustained a back injury and was released the next day from the hospital.

Peterson is no longer employed as a driver for district.

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