The Alaska State Troopers have identified the people involved in a road-rage incident against a school bus near North Pole on Tuesday.
Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters, in an email to the Daily News-Miner on Thursday, stated that the vehicle involved in the incident was a white Crown Victoria and that the investigation is ongoing. The statement provided no information about the suspects.
The bus was transporting students from Ticasuk Brown Elementary School when a vehicle stopped in front of it and the occupants allegedly got out to shout at the bus and take pictures. The occupants got back in the vehicle and followed the bus along its route.
Parents were made aware of the incident when the school's interim principal, Alicia Lewis, sent out an email about the situation.
The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District provided additional details Thursday.
The bus was carrying 17 students home from an after-school program at the school, school district spokeswoman Sharice Walker stated in an email to the News-Miner.
“When the bus driver drove away from the people, she continued on her bus route to the next stop,” Walker wrote. “When the car followed them, the bus driver told the students the police were being contacted and that she would not let them off the bus until the car was gone. A few parents came to the bus stop, and five students were released to parents.”
Chris Kemper, spokesman with First Group America, which owns school bus provider First Student, said he could not give details about the investigation, but he praised the bus driver involved.
“I can tell you that our driver acted admirably and in accordance with our training and protocol,” he said.
To drive a First Student bus, drivers receive on average more than 50 hours of training, according to Kemper.
“The top priority in all instances is the safety and security of all students on board,” he said.
Kemper added that, in general, the first thing a driver should do is call dispatch for assistance. Should dispatch not be available for any reason, he said the driver should do “whatever is necessary to maintain the safety and security of the students.”
Contact staff writer Kyrie Long at 459-7572.