School bus driver cited in fatal accident | News
LAKELAND, Fla. - On January 17th at about 3 p.m., 14-year-old Katlyn Rickman was walking across Beacon Road. At the same time, school bus driver Virginia Robinson, 43, was making a left turn from Eden Parkway onto Beacon.
Police say the timing of everythingled to fatal results.
Investigators cited Robinson for failing to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian, but they say her actions did not warrant criminal charges. She was not reckless and she did not have drugs or alcohol in her system.
According to traffic homicide investigator Michael Catalano, before making her turn, Robinson looked left and then right, but did not look left again.
"Without looking back to the left again, the child had made it to the crosswalk," said Catalano at a Monday afternoon news conference. "By the time the driver was partially into the turn, the child was in the blind spot of the bus."
The left side of the bus pushed Rickman to the ground and the Lakeland High School freshman was crushed by the rear wheels of the bus.
Because the accident involved a death, Robinson will have a hearing before a judge later this month. She faces fines up to $1,000 and could lose her license for up to a year.
Police say Rickman's parents, Kim and James, are aware of the report's conclusion. Reached by phone, James told 10 News he had no comment. A family friend says the Rickmans are not happy about the citation and that the report is forcing them to relive their loss.