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ISP: School bus surveillance camera wasn't working at time of rollover crash

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Idaho State Police told KBOI 2News on Wednesday that the bus hauling students carrying Carey Jr. High students to a track meet had a video surveillance system in place, but it was not working at the time of the crash. (File KBOI Photo)

Investigators examining evidence in a school bus rollover crash last month will be working without on board video.

Idaho State Police told KBOI 2News on Wednesday that the bus hauling students carrying Carey Jr. High students to a track meet had a video surveillance system in place, but it was not working at the time of the crash.

The school bus, which was hauling 39 students rolled on Highway 26, and sent a dozen students to the hospital.

An initial report from troopers say the driver, 67-year-old Richard Mecham of Carey, may have been drowsy or fatigued before the crash happened. It also listed 'inattention' as a contributing factor.

The report says Mecham took a blood test and alcohol and drugs weren't detected. ISP has said that charges are pending against Mecham.

Also on Wednesday, the Blaine County School District released a lengthy statement from superintendent Dr. GwenCarol Holmes, which included the news that the district has let go its transportation director.

"In continuing our investigation into the April 18 school bus accident, we have found a failure to follow internal procedures and our code of ethics in supervising drivers. We are taking corrective action to ensure this does not happen going forward. The transportation director at the time of the accident is no longer employed by the district.

We are deeply saddened by the accident, and we are continuing to do everything we can to help our students heal both physically and emotionally. We are continuing to review our internal procedures. We are re-emphasizing to our employees that compassion and concern for a fellow employee must never take precedence over our responsibilities for the safety of our students. We are continuing to cooperate with Idaho State Police in their investigation of the accident.

We cannot ever remove the trauma that these students have experienced. We hope through our ongoing support we can help them increase their coping skills as they become resilient human beings. We also are committed to maintaining the trust of the families who place their children in our care."