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Indiana bus stop crash hits home for Jeffco bus driver

After a bus stop crash in Indiana left three children dead, a Jeffco bus driver wants to remind everyone why obeying the rules of the road is so important.

A bus stop crash killed three young siblings in Rochester, Indiana, early Tuesday morning. Investigators said the bus was stopped and the stop arm was out when a woman driving a pickup drove past - hitting four children.

A 9-year-old girl and her twin 6-year-old brothers were killed. The fourth student was taken into surgery.

This kind of crash is a parent's worst nightmare. But it also terrifies bus drivers.

"I actually grabbed a kid up my stairs one day because I saw a car coming right across the right side of my bus," said Letrisha Fritch.

She has been driving a school bus for Jefferson County Public Schools for 16 years. said after seeing these kids everyday she's invested in their safety and said she loves them. And that's why she was devastated to hear about what happened in Indiana.

She said it was her worst fear and that she's not surprised by the accident.

"People flipping us off, they're on their phones," she said. "They're in a big hurry. They don't see, they don't see the kids."

Fritch said every day someone runs her stop sign.

"They're dealing with their own things but they're not paying attention to what's going on right now," she said.

Valerie Pelc, the Director of Central Transportation for JeffCo questions how someone could not pay attention to all the signs. Pelc said bus drivers and even students go through training about how to exit a bus but it's other drivers they worry about.

"It's amazing how distracted drivers are nowadays," Pelc said. "They're just not paying attention."

When a school bus is approaching a stop, it'll flash yellow lights warning other drivers. When it comes to a stop, it'll flash red lights and release a stop sign. It's illegal to pass a bus during this time when you're going either way. Pelc recommends never passing a bus.

"We're never too busy in our day to wait that extra minute or two it might take," she said.

It's a six-point violation if you're caught passing a school bus when it's stop sign is released. The truck driver involved in the Indian crash is facing charges for reckless homicide.