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School bus incident poses obstacle for Wake investigators

Posted November 10, 2010

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— Wake County’s sheriff says investigators are taking a careful approach in trying to determine what happened on a Wake County school bus last week, in which a father claims the bus driver slapped his 5-year-old special needs son.

“The investigation is ongoing. We’re trying to make sure we uncover the right things,” Sheriff Donnie Harrison said Wednesday. “We’re not saying it didn’t happen. We’re not saying it did happen. We want to gather as much information as we can.”

Mark Tourscher says his son, Cory, and another child were playing on a bus from Wendell Elementary School Friday afternoon when the driver hit Cory.

The driver, Ashkenaz Gill, disputes the accusation, saying he has children with special needs of his own and that he would never hit a child.

Harrison said the case has an unusual set of circumstances – the children’s ages, the fact that they were the only two students on the bus, and the fact that both have special needs – and that investigators don’t want to make any mistakes.

“It doesn’t hamper us, but it throws an obstacle in the way,” he said. “We don’t want to jump to any conclusions. It’s a case that has a lot of emotion to it, but we don’t want to get involved in the emotions.”

Michael Evans, a spokesman for the Wake County Public School System, says Gill, who’s been a bus driver for the district for two years, is on paid suspension, pending the outcome of internal and criminal investigations.

18 Comments

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  • allihaveleftischange Nov 17, 2010

    My children must wear their seatbelts in the car or I will get a ticket and probably social services called on me but on a "BUS" they're "safe"?

  • shortcake53 Nov 11, 2010

    How do you know it will never work?? Ever tried it. No. You get it now?

  • wewoods Nov 11, 2010

    I'm just saying seatbelts on school busses will never work. Get in now?

  • shortcake53 Nov 11, 2010

    Shaking my head at wewoods. I DID ride a bus,and we DID behave ourselves, maybe YOU didnt. Which would explain your attitude now.

  • wewoods Nov 11, 2010

    Got it the first time shortcake...you're right, buckled kids will NEVER unbuckle themselves inside the bus and move around. You already agree the kids aren't doing what they're suppose to do like not move around and cause problems? You really think they will not unbuckle themselves? And who's going to enforce that they even use them in the first place? the driver? you obviously never rode, or maybe ride, the bus...

    Agreed carolinarox...we have quite the sue-nation thing going on here in america...but for the children to drum up such an event and the driver to say it never ever happened? its impossible to say without a first hand account but I think where there's smoke, there's usually some fire too...

  • Karmageddon Nov 11, 2010

    My bet is that the Dad is looking for $$$$$$$$

  • carolinarox Nov 11, 2010

    @Wewoods How do you know the driver isn't telling the whole tale? I think the Dad is doing the exaggerating, not the child. Did anyone even see the bus pulled over to the side of the road which it must have been for the driver to have hit this child? My money is on the dad looking for a payday.

  • shortcake53 Nov 11, 2010

    wewoods, just to clarify, this incident happened INSIDE the bus.
    And as I stated before, if the kids are buckled in they wont be jumping up and causing problems. Get it now?

  • wewoods Nov 11, 2010

    Seatbelts on busses? The injuries/deaths occure OUTSIDE of the bus, not inside...less than 5 a year inside a bus...

    The incident is quite exagerated by the child but the driver isn't telling the whole tale...No grown up in this situation is ever going to just up and slap a kid for no reason...Not saying any reason is a valid one, just everyone is sooo much more willing to believe a poor special needs child over an adult. Kids need a little unethical treatment once in a while or they will not know how to act when they're in the big bad REAL world.

  • shortcake53 Nov 11, 2010

    Another good reason for seatbelts on buses. If they are buckled in they cant be roaming around messing with each other. I see kids hanging out bus windows, and moving around when they shouldnt be.

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