Bus Driver Arrested After Asking Boy, 11, to Move Live Wires That Ended Up Burning Him

A Pennsylvania middle schooler suffered burns and a shock when he followed his school bus driver’s orders to check on a fallen wire, police said.

Then-bus driver Patricia Ryan, 60, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and recklessly endangering another person after she allegedly asked one of the students on her bus to get off and move wires that had come down on Route 130 on April 15, WTAE-TV reported.

She had allegedly radioed earlier to her dispatcher saying that power transformers had blown and wires were down on the roadway and was told to avoid the down lines, but drove through the wires and became ensnared.

“You know what … can one of you get out and move that wire off the (bus)?” Ryan said to the five students on her bus, according to police.

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Penn-Trafford Middle School student Tyler Cunningham, 11, got off the bus at her request and was reportedly burned when he touched the wires.  

“It shocked me. It got me like right there, on the thumb,” Cunningham told the television station.

Ryan asked if the boy was okay about 20 minutes after he got back on the bus while holding his right hand, police said.

“Patricia Ryan failed to notify first responders of the bus company that a student had gotten off of the bus and touched a power line," a police criminal complaint obtained by the television station said.

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Ryan was reportedly removed later that day as a bus driver with First Student Bus Co., the district’s transportation provider.

She is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on May 31 in front of District Judge Helen Kistler.

“I never intended to hurt anyone,” she said when reached by the Tribune-Review.

Tyler was not seriously injured, according to his father Bob Cunningham, who said he believes Ryan should be stripped of her license.

“What if she gets another job with another bus company and puts another child’s life in danger?” he asked.

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