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Passengers not seriously injured in Funkstown bus accident

November 02, 2007|By ERIN JULIUS

FUNKSTOWN - A Washington County Public Schools bus driver was charged Wednesday with failure to control speed to avoid a collision after the bus she was driving rear-ended another vehicle in Funkstown, Washington County Sheriff's Deputy Alan Matheny said Thursday afternoon.

Paulette Sirbaugh, 61, was driving the school bus when it crested a hill on Baltimore Street and rear-ended a vehicle stopped at a yellow light. That vehicle rear-ended a small pickup truck that was stopped in front of it, Matheny said.

The male driver of the truck was taken to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, Matheny said.

Four students were on the bus, and none was injured, schools spokesman Will Kauffman said Thursday afternoon.

Kauffman said he did not know the ages of the children, only that they were elementary-school age, he said.

The children on the bus were between 3 and 5 years old, Matheny said.

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The accident in the area of Frederick Road and Baltimore Street in Funkstown was reported at 12:06 p.m. Wednesday, deputies said.

According to Sirbaugh, she looked up to check on the children for a minute and when she looked back at the road, the two cars were right there, Matheny said.

Both of the cars were damaged, but there was no damage to the school bus, Matheny said.

Another bus was sent to the scene to transport the children, Kauffman said.

The Washington County Public Schools transportation department reviews every situation in which a school bus is involved in a collision, he said.

The penalty for conviction on a charge of failure to control speed to avoid a collision is a $130 fine and three points on the driver's license, a Washington County District Court Commissioner said Thursday evening.

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