2:58 PM PDT, August 30, 2021
A Georgia school bus driver described as a “beloved staff member” was killed in a freak accident when the bus she drove unexpectedly rolled over her, officials said.
Sandra Goodman, 66, of Fairburn, was in the parking lot of Landmark Christian School, when the bus she transported her young students in suddenly rolled forward, killing her, Fairburn Police Department said in a release.
There were no children on the bus or involved in the accident, officials said.
The tragic incident took place on Friday around 3:30 p.m. Officers found that Goodman had been pinned underneath the bus. They initially believed she was experiencing mechanical problems with the bus and crawled underneath it to check out what was wrong, according to Fairburn police spokesman Deputy Chief Anthony Bazydlo, People reported.
It was later determined she left the bus in gear before stepping off. The vehicle then rolled forward, trapping her underneath. Officials said Goodman was killed instantly, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The police spokesman said that the Georgia Department of Public Safety conducted two inspections of the bus, that was two years old, and no mechanical issues had been found, the Journal-Constitution reported.
Authorities also said they were going to review surveillance footage from the parking lot to get a better understanding of what happened.
The police department also expressed their condolence to family, friends, the school, and the community after the terrible accident.
Police and school officials told the newspaper that Goodman texted Landmark’s transportation director and said she was having issues with her emergency brake. When the company called back to see if everything was OK, they said they did not get a response, according to a report.
“I don’t know if this was some kind of mistake made by the driver or some kind of error that was made, but the inspection of the bus that was conducted — everything was fine,” Bazydlo told the Journal-Constitution.
Dr. Jason McMaster, Head of the Landmark Christian School said Goodman had worked for 30 years as a bus driver for the Fulton County Schools and that she came out of retirement two years ago to drive the bus for their private school, the news outlet said.
“Our hearts are broken as we share in this loss together. We ask the community to join us in prayer for this family and to respect their privacy during this difficult time,” McMaster said, Alive 11 News reported.
Fairburn Mayor Elizabeth Carr-Hurst released a statement, according to WSB-TV 2.
”We are deeply saddened to hear of your great loss. Our prayers and condolences are with all who are affected by this tragedy,” Carr-Hurst said. “Please know that we the City of Fairburn are with you during this difficult time.”