Sandy bus driver charged with hitting, killing teen in January

Aug 18, 2023, 5:54 PM | Updated: Nov 3, 2023, 4:02 pm

police car and school bus...

Sandy police investigate the scene of a fatal school bus and pedestrian accident on on Jan. 27, 2023. The school bus driver who hit and killed the Jordan High School student now faces a charge of negligent homicide. (Ryan Sun/Deseret News)

(Ryan Sun/Deseret News)

SANDY, Utah  — A former school bus driver from Sandy is formally being charged for hitting and killing a 15-year-old girl in January.

On Thursday, Gary Arden Rollins, 71, was charged with negligent homicide and failing to yield to a pedestrian in adjacent crosswalk.

Court documents state Rollins was waiting to make a left turn while 15-year-old Jennifer Flores Diaz was waiting to cross at a crosswalk on the 8300 block of S. State Street. When the light turned green, Rollins started driving as Flores Diaz also crossed the street.

In a statement, Canyons District spokesman, Jeffrey Haney, said Rollins was in six minor accidents from 2018 to 2019 ranging from “clipping a side mirror of another school bus and hitting a trailer hitch that was attached to a parked car.”

No injuries were reported, no police citations were given and Rollins went four years without any other accident.

KSL TV asked the district if there a limit to the number of accidents drivers can be in. Honey said there is, however repercussions depend on the circumstances and how costly they could be.

Since the accident Canyons District’s goal is making sure kids are safe on and off campus.

A new GPS system is being added on nearly 200 buses. It has front-facing and rear-facing camera and can detect if the driver is ill, injured or is driving distracted in real time.

“The new safety-driving system, coupled with regular training for bus drivers, add to the safety and security initiatives of Canyons District,” Haney said.

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Sandy bus driver charged with hitting, killing teen in January