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PCSSD employee killed in runaway school bus accident

Jason Johnson, 40, was killed after a school district bus he had been driving began rolling down the hill, hitting him in the process. (Photo: Pulaski County Special School District)

Authorities say the victim of a fatal school bus accident Monday has been identified as a Pulaski County Special School District employee.

Jason Johnson, 40, was killed after a bus he had been driving began rolling down the hill, hitting him in the process.

The school district says Johnson was informed of a mechanical issue with one of district's Life Skills Bus early Monday afternoon.

Johnson drove another Life Skills bus to the scene in order to repair the issue.

Once the problem was fixed, Johnson left the scene in the original bus he had been driving, PCSSD says. Shortly after Johnson stopped on Towne Oaks Dr. and got off the bus to check because he noticed the door to the lift gate (used for wheelchair access) had opened. As Johnson closed the door, the air brake popped off, causing the bus to start rolling.

According to the release, Johnson ran alongside the bus and attempted to get back inside it in order to stop the bus from rolling further down the hill. As Johnson was trying to board the bus, he was hit by the bus and killed.

No students were present at the time of the accident.

No other vehicles were involved in the accident.

PCSSD says the bus did not have any defects. All district school buses are inspected four times a day.

Johnson worked for the district from October 2007 through June 2016 and returned in February of 2018.

The school district's Director of Transportation says this is the first school bust accident resulting in a fatality.

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