School bus driver charged with vehicular assault

LONG NECK – Delaware State Police report the Monday arrest of a school bus driver who authorities allege during an afternoon a drop-off in late January intentionally slammed on the brakes, resulting in injuries to nearly a dozen students.

Granville R. Lawson, 65, of Dagsboro, faces multiple counts of Reckless Endangering and Vehicular Assault, state police spokeswoman Master Cpl. Melissa Jaffe said.

State police on Jan. 28 were informed of the incident that occurred on a school bus transporting elementary students home from the Long Neck Elementary School.

Granville R. Lawson

Investigating troopers subsequently learned that the school bus driver, Granville R. Lawson, was traveling within the Bay City MHP, Long Neck, for afternoon drop-offs when he intentionally slammed on the brakes. As a result, multiple students on board were injured, Cpl. Jaffe said.

“Proceeding the incident Lawson made an announcement over the PA system: ‘See what I can do when you get out of your seats,’” said Cpl. Jaffe.

According to police investigation, Lawson made no announcements concerning children being out of their seats just prior to the forceful application of the bus’s brakes, Cpl. Jaffe said.

After the incident, Lawson continued with his drop-offs.

At the time of the incident, 30 students ranging in ages from 6 to 11 were on board along with a 77-year-old adult aid.

Cpl. Jaffe said state police contacted all of the 30 students’ legal guardians and it was confirmed that 11 students sustained injuries, ranging from bruising, to abrasions and also concussion-like symptoms. 

The other 19 students did not report any injury. However, all reported the reckless manner in which Lawson intentionally stopped the bus, Cpl. Jaffe said.

Ten of the parents whose children were not injured declined prosecution in lieu of disciplinary action by the school, Cpl. Jaffe said.

Lawson was taken into custody while at Troop 4 on Feb. 3 and charged with nine counts of Reckless Endangering Second Degree and 11 counts of Vehicular Assault Third Degree.

Lawson was arraigned before the Justice of the Peace Court and released on his own recognizance.