LPSS School Bus Death Settlement - KLFY News 10

LPSS School Bus Death Settlement

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The father of the six year old who was dragged to death from a school bus has been awarded $300,000 in damages. The ruling came after two days of testimony in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Marcus Miller.

Miller's son Laderion Miller died back in 2011. District Judge Kristian Earles awarded Miller $250,000 in his wrongful death claim and $50,000 in survival action damages.

Miller originally sought two and half million dollars. The defendants in the case included the Lafayette Parish School System, the now-retired bus driver and their insurance companies.

According to published reports, in a separate filing, the child's mother settled out of court for $750,000.


Bus Driver Resigns

A Lafayette school bus driver who was behind the wheel when a young boy was drug to his death by a school bus took his fate into his own hands Wednesday afternoon.

Fifteen minutes before bus driver Harold Thibeaux was scheduled to have his termination hearing he retired.  Thibeaux was behind the wheel as you may remember when six year old La'Derion Miller was somehow caught in the school bus' door, and dragged 20 feet.

La'derion died as a result of the injuries.  We talked to school board attorney James Simon tells us he thought Thibeaux's retirement was the best move for everyone involved.

Everyone else we spoke to, including Superintendant Burnell Lemoine, said they couldn't comment because it was a personnel issue.

No charges have been filed against Thibeaux in La'Derion Miller's Death, but his parents have filed civil lawsuits against the school board and Thibeaux, and those suits at this moment are still pending.

Sean Maginnis



School bus driver's future to be decided     

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - The Lafayette Parish School Board will hold a special board meeting Wednesday to decide whether to uphold the termination of the bus driver involved in the March accident that killed 6-year-old La'Derion Miller.
      The driver, Harold Thibeaux, is a 23-year veteran bus driver.
      According to the accident report, Thibeaux was distracted by another child while La'Derion Miller and his cousin attempted to catch the bus in Youngsville just before sunrise on March 14.
      Deputies say La'Derion somehow became caught on the outside of the bus and was dragged about 20 feet before his body was released. The bus' front tire ran over the boy, crushing the left side of his body.
      The Advocate reports Thibeaux was not cited and investigators found no evidence of traffic or criminal violations.
      Information from: The Advocate, http://www.2theadvocate.com

      (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)
       AP-NY-07-05-11 0637EDT


Information from the coroner shows the kindergartner who died during a school bus accident may have been crushed by the bus.

Six year old Laderion Miller died after he got caught on the outside of the bus. The bus driver didn't see him and the child was dragged.

Results of the coroner's initial report indicate several injuries none of us knew about before, including investigators. The report states the left side of the child's body was crushed.

With this new information, deputies believe Miller was rolled over by the wheel of the bus directly behind the door.




School Bus Tragedy Update

Monday a child was killed while trying to board his school bus in Milton.

Now we're hearing from the family of the man who was driving the bus when this tragedy occurred. A whirlwind of emotions is how John Thibeaux can best describe the last 24 hours.

John is the younger brother of Harold Thibeaux, the bus driver involved in the early morning accident which took the life of six year old La'Derion Jude Miller.  John says Monday's tragedy in Milton has been hard on everyone.

"It's tough you know thinking of the Miller's and my brother, and I know he's really, really devastated by what happened, and it hurts me too he's my older brother" says Thibeaux.

Lafayette Parish Detectives continue to investigate the accident, in which Miller was dragged 20 feet.  John believes his brother never even knew the six year old boy was alongside his bus.

"It boils down to he didn't know he was dragging him definitely or I'm certain he would have stopped anymore than that I couldn't say."

School board officials sent counselors out to Milton Elementary to talk with Miller's classmates following the accident.  John says Harold was especially distraught once he knew miller had passed away.

"when he first broke down and cried he said that 6 year old baby that 6 year old baby that's pretty much the first thing that came out once he got real emotional."

John also wanted to extend his deepest sympathies to the Miller family. At this time there are still no official charges against Harold Thibeaux.

Julian Johnson





 Lafayette Sheriff's Department News Release 

On Monday March 14, 2011 at approximately 7:05 am the Lafayette Sheriff's Office was dispatched to Duhon Road near Milton in reference to an accident involving a school bus and a child.

 Upon deputies arrival they discovered that a 6 year old male had been severely injured in an accident with a Lafayette Parish School Bus. The child identified as La'Derion Jude Miller was taken to a local hospital with head injuries. The Hospital shortly thereafter notified Sheriff's deputies that Laderion had died due to his injuries.

Preliminary statements and information suggests that as the bus driver was at a regular stop on Duhon Road, he picked up several children and was closing the door when Laderion attempted to get on the bus. He was somehow caught on the outside of the door or the arm of the bus. The bus driver did not notice this and began driving forward dragging the child approximately 20 feet until he fell to the roadway.

The bus driver Harold Thibeaux was taken to the Lafayette Sheriff's Office where he was interviewed and run on the Intoxilizer 5000, where he registered 0.00.  

 Thibeaux is now on paid administrative leave.

The accident and the exact circumstances are still under investigation, at this point no charges or citations have been filed.


If you would like to help the Miller Family you can make a donation to:

Farmer's and Merchant's Bank and Trust

La'Derion Miller Fund

Account: 189731

Routing: 065201530




Child Dies After Being Dragged by School Bus

Six year old Lederion Miller died from injuries sustained while he was dragged 20 to 30 feet along Duhon Road.

The bus driven by Harold Thibeaux stops to pick up multiple children for Milton Elementary and Middle School. Miller was never seen by Thibeaux when he closed the doors to continue along the route. When the doors had closed, it caught a hold of Miller. When Thibeaux turned around to get back out is when he spotted Miller in the road. Miller was air lifted from the scene to a local hospital where he later died.

Thibeaux was taken to the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Department for questioning and a sobriety test. We spoke with Thibeaux's brother, he said his brother was shaken up, worse than he's ever seen.

Thibeaux has driven a bus for over 10 years and has had no prior incidents according to his brother. The other children on the bus were taken to school by another bus.

"The bus driver did not see him in the door. His attention was forward at the time. He began proceeding forward with the bus" said Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Department Lieutenant Craig Stansbury.  

Councilors from the Lafayette Parish School Board are at the school right now to help the children cope with this horrible tragedy.

Julian Johnson.

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