ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – A mother says she is breathing a sigh of relief Monday after more than a year since that tragic day when her teenage son was run over and killed by a school bus.
After Bridgett Blasi won millions in settlement from one of the nation’s biggest transportation providers, First Student, Inc., new video is released showing just how frosty the windows of that bus were, and how that might have contributed to a young man’s death.
It was a cold November morning in 2010, and 23-year-old Tracey Jones was gearing up to drive a school bus. The problem according to Blasi’s attorney, was Jones took off with a mere 30 second inspection and very icy windows. Jones even opens the doors to get a better look at intersections.
Those were the conditions Jones was driving in when she hit and killed 16-year-old Mason Adams.
“My life will never be the same, my son’s gone, but you know he’s always in my heart,” said Blasi.
Mason’s mother stood in front of the Buchanan County courthouse, finally hearing what she has wished for from First Student inside a courtroom for more than a year.
“I had been waiting on an apology, I had been waiting for them to say, ‘We’re responsible for your son’s death,’ and today, they finally said that,” Blasi said.
A spokesperson for the Cinncinatti-based company sent FOX 4 a statement saying “The company does not comment on any issues regarding litigation. But, we know the company admitted it’s fault in court and Blasi got a $5 million settlement.”
But more importantly, Blasi said First Student agreed she could speak at driver trainings to tell them they can’t cut corners when it comes to a 26,000 pound vehicle.
“If I could save another life out there in training and educating people, I’m going to do it,” she said.
She’s also going to honor Mason’s memory by building a baseball park in his name. She says, that’s exactly what he’d want.
The St. Joseph school board will decide next Monday, what transportation company it’ll contract with for the next three years. The school district says it has three bids in. One of those, is First Student.