Birmingham City Schools bus driver killed in officer involved crash

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A Birmingham City Schools bus driver was killed in an accident involving a police officer early Thursday morning.

According to Lt. Sean Edwards with the Birmingham Police Department, the officer was driving south on Center Street and the SUV was heading East on 11th Court West when at the time of the accident.

The accident occurred on 11th Court North and Center Street at about 12:05 a.m. Thursday. An officer collided with a citizen’s SUV while responding to a call.

“He was in route to a call. It was a domestic call and as he was traveling to that call, as he entered into the intersection, he collided with the individual in the intersection,” said Birmingham Police Lt Sean Edwards.

The victim was identified as Stephen L. Tooson, 45 of Center Point. He was pronounced dead on the scene at 12:26 a.m.

Tooson was a bus driver for Birmingham City Schools, spokesperson Chanda Temple said.

Birmingham City Superintendent Dr. Kelley Castling-Gacutan said in a statement: “We continue to lift our school district family in prayer.  One of our bus drivers was killed and another was injured in a traffic accident early today.  I spoke with the transportation team and team leaders this morning. We are committed to doing what we can do for the family of our loss bus driver and our injured bus driver.”

A female passenger suffered head injuries and was taken to UAB Hospital. The officer suffered a gash in his leg and a collar bone injury, and was also taken to UAB Hospital.

As of Thursday afternoon the female passenger was still in the hospital, but the officer was released Thursday morning.

Director of Transportation Ron Schappacher said Toosen will be missed.

“Kids loved him. We loved him. Students respected him and responded to him. This is a tremendous loss. He will be deeply missed,” Schappacher said.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News

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