September 12, 2013

Bus driver reacts to alleged bomb threat

Pulls off road to contact police

By Rob McDaniel
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — The Laurel County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an alleged bomb threat made by students traveling on a bus southbound on I-75 between London and Corbin on Friday afternoon around 4 p.m.

According to the sheriff's report, sometime during their travel, one or more students allegedly stated a bomb was on the bus. Passengers on the bus included both middle and high school students that were being transported home.

The bus driver pulled off the road and into a weigh station, approximately four miles south of London, to make contact with law enforcement.

Sheriff John Root, along with several deputies, Kentucky State Police troopers, and Kentucky State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers reported to the scene. Ambulance Inc. of Laurel County and Laurel County Fire Department also responded.

Sheriff's deputies interviewed students and attempted to locate the student(s) involved. No students have been identified as being the ones involved in reporting a bomb on the bus.

Also during the course of the investigation, members of the KSP Hazardous Devices Unit searched the school bus and backpacks of each of the students on board. A canine belonging to the Unit failed to locate any hazardous devices in backpacks or on the bus.

Laurel County School officials were called to bring another bus to the scene to transport the students on to their destinations.

“Student and staff safety are a paramount to all that we do in the Laurel County School System,” said Dr. Doug Bennett, Laurel County School Superintendent.  “The bus driver took appropriate action and acted in the best interest of our students in keeping them safe.  We appreciate the quick and efficient response of the Laurel County Sheriff’s Department, London Police Department, KSP and other first responders upon the report of the alleged bomb threat.

“An intensive and thorough search of the bus turned up no dangerous or hazardous devices of any kind – students were safe,” Bennett said.  “However, these types of threats are time consuming and costly to law enforcement and first responders, as well as to the school system. As a result, we are doing an administrative investigation at the school level to determine the specifics of the student threat made on Friday and to determine appropriate disciplinary action to be taken.”

The investigation will be continued by the sheriff's office, and appropriate charges could be filed when the investigation is completed.

Officers on scene included: Sheriff John Root, Capt. Rodney Van Zant, Senior Sgt. Greg Poynter, Deputy Robbie Grimes, Deputy Kevin Berry, Deputy Daniel Grigsby, Deputy Gilbert Acciardo and London Police Officer Mike Holliday.