By Elise Franco
CANFIELD — The two Canfield school-bus drivers involved in a bus accident in January have resigned.
The board of education approved the resignations for David A. Bell, 60, and Stephanie A. Ensley, 51, during its regular meeting Wednesday night.
Ensley’s resignation was effective Jan. 25, and Bell’s will go into effect Feb. 28. Both drivers were on paid administrative leave immediately after the accident, which occurred Jan. 11 on Montgomery Drive in the city.
They were charged by Canfield police Jan. 19 after they failed to report the accident between their buses during school hours. Bell is charged with improper backing and operating an unsafe vehicle, both minor misdemeanors, and falsification, a first-degree misdemeanor. He is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Feb. 24.
Ensley pleaded no contest Jan. 22 to operating an unsafe vehicle and was fined $75 by Judge Scott Hunter of Mahoning County Area Court here.
Schools Superintendent Dante Zambrini said in a news release the incident was unfortunate.
“Two good employees failed to follow the prescribed protocol that was established for the safety of the students,” he said.
Zambrini said the district conducted an extensive investigation into the accident, resulting in Bell and Ensley’s tendering their resignations.
“The members of the school board have accepted these resignations this evening and are ready to move forward,” he said.
About a half-dozen bus-garage employees attended the board meeting on behalf of Ensley.
Maria Rogers, a bus-garage employee, asked the board to reconsider Ensley’s resignation.
“My understanding is she’d like to rescind [the resignation,]” Rogers said. “She’s a very good employee and co-worker, and we stand behind her. We hope you will take that into consideration.”
None of the board members commented on Rogers’ address.
Zambrini said he and other board members will not discuss the matter further.