Pinellas County bus driver resigns after crash, has extensive traffic infraction history

CLEARWATER, Fla — A Pinellas County school bus driver resigned Thursday after he was suspended for rear-ending a semi that same morning on Ulmerton Road near 58th street North. The crash sent 4 high school kids to the hospital.

This is the seventh time 67-year-old Bernard Lee Gant has rear-ended a car while behind the wheel of a school bus in Pinellas County. 

“Yesterday’s accident is concerning. Pinellas County Schools expects safe transportation for our students every day and we hold our drivers to high standards,” the district said in a statement. 

"This is the most important thing that you can transport is the children of our county and they have to be at a higher standard,” said Joseph Morgan, who drove buses in Pinellas County for 11 years. 

In January of 2017, Morgan was forced to go on disability after his bus was t-boned by another driver. He knows how stressful the job can be, but says Gant’s driving history is really worrisome.

"As far as I’m concerned six rear ends is way too many,” he said.

Supervisors are given a guide to determine what type of disciplinary action should be taken. In Gant’s nearly 25 years with the district, he’s been given 7 letters of warning/caution, which is given to someone who has demonstrated problematic behavior. 

He’s only been given one reprimand, which is a more serious discipline. Morgan believes that is unacceptable. 

"We have to do more for the children of our county, having bus drivers are somewhat reckless drivers is unacceptable for the safety of our children,” he said.

He believes the district should adopt a limit for how many times you can be disciplined before being fired.

"There should be a limit of three, no more than three as far as I’m concerned,” he said. 

ABC Action News tried to talk with Gant early Friday morning, but no one came to his door. 

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