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We have all heard of a school bus driver or monitor losing his or her head while on route, but a school bus driver losing a rear wheel? That’s what happened this past week in Charlotte, NC, according to The Charlotte Observer.
The wheel fell off a Charlotte-Mecklenburg bus in traffic, damaging another car and stranding high school students who were on their way to school. The district said a transportation mechanicfailed to properly tighten the lug nuts after a brake replacement, and pre-trip and post-trip inspections by bus drivers did not uncover the problem.
While the mechanic at fault is not a new employee, the school district pointed out that its bus garage staff is short-staffed, as 14 of 99 positions in bus maintenance and repair have been unfilled.
Kevin Harrison, the director of student transportation for the North Carolina department of Education, told The Observer that he reviewed the maintenance history of the affected school bus in addition to a sampling of district buses inspected last year. He said that the report showed an increase in defects and below average safety rating but that he could not find any record of previous wheel or tire issues that indicated a systemic problem.
If this had been a Nascar race, someone would have been fined $25,000 and the loss of their crew chief for 2 races due to loose lugnuts !!!