Kent school bus driver struck, injured by bus

Kent school bus driver struck, injured by bus »Play Video
A Kent school bus approaches a crosswalk where earlier in the day, another bus struck a woman as she crossed the street.
KENT, Wash. - A 25-year veteran school bus driver for the Kent School District was struck and injured by a school bus Monday morning, district officials said.

Lynne Hagen got halfway through a crosswalk at the district's bus barn near 108th Avenue and Kent-Kangley Road at about 6:40 a.m. when another driver ran into her with a bus, said Chris Loftis of the Kent School District.

Medics responded to the scene, and the injured driver was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

"Anytime you have a bus and a person interaction, it's going to be bad for the person," Loftis said. The driver of the bus that struck the victim also was taken to the hospital to be checked out.

Lynne Hagen
Loftis said Kent police are still looking into why the driver didn't see Gaen.

"Whether it was because it was dark or foggy -- have no idea," Loftis said, adding they're also looking into whether poor lighting lead to the driver not being able to see the victim.

Another driver told us they've asked school officials several times to add more lights there, but the driver says each time the school district refused. The school district says they're still looking into whether or not they received complaints about lighting.

Loftis says the accused driver has been on the job for six years with no safety violations, and every year, Kent School District buses and drivers meet or exceed state and federal safety regulations. KOMO News uncovered state bus maintenance records that show out of Kent's 144 buses, only two were out of service last year.

But that changed Monday morning.

"This morning, that safety standard wasn't met and it's a tragedy," Loftis said.

Police have not said yet whether the driver who struck Hagen will face any charges, but say they don't believe either drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash.