Former Georgia bus driver sentenced to prison in crash that killed 6-year-old

Shalita Jackson Harris

Credit: The Macon Telegraph

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Shalita Jackson Harris

Credit: The Macon Telegraph

Credit: The Macon Telegraph

A former Middle Georgia school bus driver has been sentenced to three years in prison after a crash that caused the death of a 6-year-old girl, according to the Macon Telegraph.

Shalita Jackson Harris, 31, of Warner Robins, will also serve seven years on probation after she was convicted of felony vehicular homicide and reckless driving, the newspaper reported.

The charges stem from the death of Arlana Haynes, an elementary school student who was ejected from the bus Harris was driving in 2018.

RELATED: School bus driver charged after first-grader dies in crash

On Jan. 29, 2018, Harris was driving her Houston County bus north on Forest Park Drive. Haynes was among the 35 students on board at the time.

Harris lost control when she entered a curve, the Telegraph reported. The bus left the roadway, slid for about 15 to 20 feet and rolled onto its side.

Haynes was thrown from the bus and five other students were injured in the wreck.

The girl was taken to Medical Center Navicent Health with critical injuries. She died the next morning.

An indictment said Harris was unable to control the vehicle and a child died as a result, Houston County Chief Assistant District Attorney Erikka Williams told the Telegraph.

The former bus driver was sentenced after a weeklong trial. Jurors found Harris not guilty of speeding and another count of vehicular homicide, according to the Telegraph.

“I think it’s a fair verdict,” Williams said. “I think the sentence is fair considering she had no prior criminal history. In vehicular homicide, no one starts out intending to take a life.”

ExploreRead more of the story here. 

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