Driver in Gilmer County school bus accident charged

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(Courtesy: Melanie)

The driver of a school bus that flipped over, injuring 16 students, in Gilmer County has been charged.

Police say that 71-year-old Harold Lee Moody was charged with driver must exercise due care, a charge that he was engaging in actions that distracted him from the safe operation of the vehicle.

In their report, officials noted that Moody told police that he had reached up to grab the bus's microphone and looked into the vehicle's rearview mirror to talk to the students riding the bus.

He said that the passengers were "being loud and using profanity," the report said.

In doing so, police say that the bus traveled off the east side of Yukon Road and went into a ditch.

The bus was carrying children from Clear Creek Middle School, which is located nearby when it flipped on its side.

"I just remember the bus driver looking up in the mirror and talking to the kids, telling them to sit down and stuff. He looked back down to turn the wheel and we slid," Wyatt Ledford, one of the uninjured children on the bus, told FOX 5 at the time.

According to Dr. Shanna Wilkes, the superintendent of Gilmer County Schools,16 middle school students were transported to two area emergency rooms, one in Ellijay the other in Jasper, with non-life threatening injuries.

Moody was not injured in the accident.

RELATED: School bus flips on side in Gilmer County; 16 students injured