PALMER – Two of the three bus drivers who were involved in the chain reaction bus accident last month that sent 14 middle school students to area hospitals were cited by police for following too closely.
Police Sgt. Christopher J. Burns said that the drivers cited were Melissa Arnold, 53, of Monson, and Lynn Gregoire, 59, of Brimfield. Arnold was driving the second bus, Gregoire, the third, he said. Burns said drivers are supposed to be least 100 feet behind a school bus.
The citations carry a $35 fine, he said.
Timothy L. Stokes, spokesman for the First Student bus company, said all three bus drivers involved were suspended after the May 4 accident. Stokes said they all returned to work on June 4, after they were retrained.
The accident happened at the entrance of the Massachusetts Turnpike exit on Route 32 (Thorndike Street). Students did not have any visible injuries. Nearly 50 students were on the buses when the accident happened at approximately 1:45 p.m.
Police said the buses had left Converse Middle School and were on the way to the high school to pick up more students when one bus stopped short, setting off the chain reaction.
There were students on all three buses at the time. Frantic parents rushed to the scene to get to their children. Many of the students called their parents from the buses.