SOUTH VALLEY, NY -- The Cattaraugus County bus driver who drove over a guardrail, rolling the bus down a steep embankment beside the Allegany Reservoir, has been charged with a traffic violation.
He was cited Tuesday for failing to stop at a stop sign at the corner of Bone Run Road and W. Perimeter Road. However, Cattaraugus Sheriff's Lt. Brandon Walters admits they're still looking into the circumstances leading up to the crash.
Emergency responders say a rotten tree at the waters edge stopped the bus from falling onto the ice and possibly plunging into the frigid waters.
"I don't know how deep the water is there,” says Lt. Walters, “but that definitely would change the whole scenario here."
Randolph Central Schools contracted the bus from Corvus Bus & Charter, Inc. to pick up one pre-school student on Bone Run Road.
There were three people on the bus Tuesday morning: The driver, 55 year-old Louis Gagliardo, the bus monitor, 57 year-old Tracy Treadway, and the 4 year-old pre-school student.
Lt. Walters tells Channel 2 the young boy escaped the crash relatively unharmed because he was properly restrained, “Luckily, [he was] safely secured in a car seat, and sustained no injuries. [He] was checked out at the scene and released to his mother."
The child's mother tells Channel 2 she's grateful her son was not seriously injured, “He's okay. It was scary to look and see where that bus landed. It was scary."
The driver and the bus monitor were transported to WCA hospital in Jamestown and were treated for non-life threatening injuries. They were released Tuesday afternoon.
"The bus driver had his seatbelt on,” explains Lt. Walters. “[He] did sustain shoulder, neck and back injuries. and some face injuries. The bus monitor had the more serious injuries. [She did not] have a seatbelt on and had some back and neck injuries."
2 On Your Side reached out to Corvus.
A company spokesperson tell us they tried to speak with the bus driver earlier this afternoon, but were unable to reach him at the hospital. They did contact NYSDOT and we're told they plan to look at the bus to see if there were any mechanical issues that could have contributed to the crash.