Clymer Bus Driver Charged Following Accident

HARMONY – A Clymer Central School bus driver has been charged with failure to maintain lane following an incident that landed four Clymer students in WCA Hospital for observation Tuesday morning.

According to a Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Department police report, a Clymer school bus being driven by Betty Bayle was transporting eight students from Clymer to Erie 2 BOCES Hewes Education Center in Ashville when it inexplicably left Route 474 approximately two miles east of Panama at 8:20 a.m.

The incident was reported to The Post-Journal shortly after it occurred by Superintendent Bert Lictus, who said no serious injuries to students had been sustained.

“It didn’t appear there were any serious injuries,” Lictus said. “(Any injuries sustained) appeared to be very minor, but they’re students and we need to take every precaution.”

Lictus said four of the eight students were transported to WCA Hospital for precautionary purposes at the request of emergency medical technicians on-site.

The report said the bus was traveling westbound on Route 474 when it went off the north side of the road, and traveled approximately 500 feet through a ditch before striking a driveway culvert – which caused the bus to go airborne. The bus landed nose down in an embankment, causing the hood to be torn off.

Lictus described the damage sustained by the bus as “moderate to major.”

“(The damage) will require that the bus be out of service for a significant amount of time,” Lictus said. “It shouldn’t affect our overall transportation for the district because we have a spare bus that we can use. So we should be OK barring another incident, but you can only sustain so many losses.”

Bayle was reported to be uninjured, but was charged with failure to maintain lane and will report to the Harmony Court at a later date. Additional charges may be pending based on the outcome of the investigation.

Lictus declined to comment on the status of the Bayle’s employment with the district as it relates to personnel issues.