Kuna bus driver charged with misdemeanor in death of 11-year-old passenger

April 29, 2014 

A damaged Kuna School District bus at the scene of a fatal crash in Canyon County on Thursday morning, Dec. 5 2013.

DARIN OSWALD — doswald@idahostatesman.com

CORRECTION: This story originally listed Boatwright as living in the wrong city.

Debra Boatwright, 56, of Kuna has been charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in connection with the Dec. 5 crash that killed 11-year-old passenger Daniel Cook of Nampa, Canyon County Prosecutor Bryan Taylor said Tuesday.

The school bus collided with a dump truck at the intersection of Deer Flat and Happy Valley roads as the bus was transporting 12 elementary schoolchildren to Crimson Point Elementary in Kuna.

The ISP investigation found that Boatwright was headed east on Deer Flat when she stopped at the stop sign, but then pulled into the intersection and into the path of the northbound dump truck. The truck hit the rear passenger side of the bus, where Cook was seated, ISP reports. Investigators determined Boatwright failed to yield the right of way.

The Canyon County Prosecutor’s Office has been reviewing the case to make a charging decision for the past several months, according to a Canyon County news release. The prosecutor’s office would not discuss how the specific evidence led to the charge, but Idaho Code states that misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter is “an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony, without gross negligence.” Possible punishments, if convicted, include a $2,000 fine, a year in jail and/or license suspension.

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