CHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WBTV) – A mother and her 5-year-old daughter are recovering after they were hit crossing the street from a bus stop in Chester County Thursday.
The driver accused of disregarding the school bus stop signs has been arrested and charged in the case.
According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, the bus was stopped with the stop arm out and the warning lights blinking.
Troopers said the driver of a Ford minivan, 53-year-old Danny Dove, disregarded the stopped school bus and the warning lights and hit the mother and child.
“I thought that was insane. I mean, school buses have flashing lights and a stop sign for a reason, and it’s to avoid situations just like that,” said Matthew Varnadore, a neighbor of the victims.
Dove was in court Friday for a bond hearing. He told a judge that he respectfully challenges the charge against him. The judge set bond at $10,000 for the charge.
WBTV talked to the victim Friday.
She said she was treated and released Thursday night, but was still at the hospital with her daughter.
The 5-year-old child is expected to be released soon, the mother said. Troopers originally told WBTV the child was three years old.
“My thoughts and prayers are with them, like I said it shook us all up so bad that none of us got much sleep last night,” Varnadore said.
Suspect Dove has been in the news before.
“When I saw his picture, then I knew who he was,” said Cathie Bell, a former Chester County sheriff’s detective.
She said she remembers having to take two children from Dove’s home because of what investigators described as “filthy”’ conditions back in 2007.
A 2007 incident report states that deputies had gone to serve a warrant on an unrelated charge, and found illegal gambling machines, and conditions that were ‘unsafe and unhealthy.’
“There was human waste stacked in corners in one bathroom,” Bell recalled.
DSS got involved in the case, but Dove doesn’t have any child neglect convictions on his record. A Chester County family court clerk said any files pertaining to neglect or abuse of juvenile family members are private.
For neighbors of the victims in Thursday’s crash, they’re shocked Dove is accused of not stopping for the bus and say it has them thinking about their safety on the busy road.
“I worry for myself, that’s why I back up in my yard and then pull out instead of backing up into the road,” said Kayla Huntington.
If convicted, Dove could spend between 60 days and a year in jail.