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Lincoln school bus driver off administrative leave after accident that injured 6-year-old girl

Nick Sambides Jr. | BDN
Nick Sambides Jr. | BDN
State police Trooper Thomas Fiske (left) and Trooper Larry Anderson take measurements at an accident scene at Ariel and Clark streets in Lincoln on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2011. Police identified the victim the following day as Sophia Nelson, 6, of Lincoln. Between the two investigators is school bus supervisor Dennis Lowell.
By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff

LINCOLN, Maine — Now that she has been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing, the RSU 67 school bus driver involved in an accident that severely injured a 6-year-old girl on Jan. 18 “is no longer on administrative leave,” Superintendent Denise Hamlin said.

“The case is closed. Our insurance carrier will handle the remainder of the details,” Hamlin said in a brief statement released Friday. “The driver is no longer on administrative leave and remains part of our transportation department.”

Hamlin declined to comment further, citing personnel confidentiality.

Per standard procedure, driver Casey Voisine was placed on paid administrative leave immediately after the accident pending the outcome of the police investigation. Hamlin had said school officials would not take any action until police gave them the investigation report.

Ella P. Burr first-grader Sophia Nelson suffered compression skull fractures, a neck fracture and a broken femur in the accident and has been home from Eastern Maine Medical Center since Jan. 28.

Sophia told police she was hit by the bus’s front fender after getting off the bus at about 2:45 p.m. at Ariel and Clark streets. Voisine, who was deeply distressed by the accident, told police that she last saw Sophia just before the first-grader left the bus, police have said.

Police cleared Voisine of any criminal wrongdoing in the accident because investigators found no evidence of intent or negligence.

Hamlin described Voisine as a very cautious driver with a good safety record, and Police Chief William Lawrence called the accident “every bus driver’s nightmare” and a tragedy for the Nelson and Voisine families.

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