Fall River bus driver charged with child endangerment

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FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — A school bus driver in Fall River is facing charges as police continue to investigate an incident Thursday on board her bus.

Kimberly Samson, 44, of Westport, was charged with negligent operation of a motor vehicle and 11 counts of wanton and reckless endangerment of a child, according to Fall River police.

Police said they received a report around 4 p.m. Thursday about a school bus being driven erratically and about 20 minutes later, found the bus stopped at the intersection of King Phillip and Tuttle Streets.

As police boarded the bus, 11 students from Argosy Charter School complained of minor injuries. As a precaution, they were taken to area hospitals for evaluation and later cleared and released to their families.

After speaking with several students on the bus, police determined Samson missed several required stops while transporting the children home. 

Police said the students asked Samson to stop the bus but she continued driving, creating a disturbance between the driver and the children. Some of the students started contacting their parents, which led to police being contacted.

As Samson approached the King Phillip Street intersection, police said she abruptly stopped the bus, causing the students to lurch forward.

Investigators are still working to collect witness statements and possible video evidence. According to police, an adult bus monitor who was on board at the time confirmed the “tumultuous environment on the bus.”

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