Tahoma school bus gets stuck in flood water

A Tahoma School Bus ended up in a ditch Thursday afternoon on Southeast 240th Street near 193rd Place Southeast when the driver attempted to pass through water on the road.

This section of Southeast 240th Street near Tahoma High was closed but this did not deter motorists including the bus driver, a postal truck and others in all types of vehicles.

District spokesman Kevin Patterson said the bus driver was taking students to the Covington Aquatic Center next to the high school for swim team practice. No one was injured.

The driver, a 50-year-old woman, has been suspended and could face disciplinary action.

“The bus driver, a substitute, apparently ignored a road-closed sign and attempted to drive through standing water on the road, which is one of the main routes to Tahoma High School,” district officials said in a statement. “The water concealed a break in the pavement caused by flooding. The students on the bus were transferred to a second bus and taken to the high school to join the rest of their team.”

Patterson said the bus was later towed from the scene and the extent of the damage was not known Thursday afternoon.

“There were five male students on the bus,” Patterson said. “She told our investigators that she did not see the road closure sign, perhaps because she was reaching for her two-way radio microphone to call the transportation center. She said she saw a truck drive through the water and thought she could do the same. The bus then hit the hole in the pavement and veered into the roadside ditch.”

The driver will not be driving for the district, Patterson said, pending the outcome of an investigation into the accident.