Weatherford Democrat

October 3, 2013

Settlement reached in fatal bus accident

Springtown youth killed earlier this year after he was run over by school bus


Weatherford Democrat

— By SALLY SEXTON

SPRINGTOWN — The Springtown Independent School District has reached a settlement with the family of Haven Norton, a 10-year-old Springtown student who died after being run over by a bus May 13.

“We met with a mediator at the beginning of the school year and talked about all the things that mediators allow us to talk about,” Springtown ISD superintendent Michael Kelley said. “We have a risk management group that handles these types of situations. Their attorneys and their representatives provided the guidance and directions to the situation.”

Kelley added that the terms of the agreement were confidential.

Shannon Norton, the mother of Haven, filed a suit against the district, as well as bus driver Shelley Hefley Sept. 25.

Kelley said Hefley is no longer with the district after leaving voluntarily.

“It’s not any indication of any wrongdoing at all,” Kelley said. “She decided, of her own volition, not to continue to drive for us. We found no evidence of any wrongdoing on her part.”

Kelley called the situation a “terrible accident” and said the district has begun to re-emphasize safety bus procedures that were already in place.

“We feel like what we’ve done and continue to do is a good plan,” he said. “We did change some drop-off and pick-up points on several routes because some of the parents had expressed concern that kids were having to walk to a stop and, in some cases, cross the road.

“Some of the changes we’ve made would have happened anyway.”

Kelley also said drivers had come in for training and exercised mock pick-ups and drop-offs in the Porcupine Stadium parking lot.

“We just want to make absolutely sure everything is done correctly.”