School bus driver charged with vehicular manslaughter in court

CALDWELL, Idaho (KBOI) -- A Kuna bus driver was in court Monday for a hearing on charges for a bus crash that killed an 11-year-old boy last December.

Debra Boatwright was charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter for the crash.

Idaho State Police says Boatwright was driving a school bus heading east on Deer Flat Road. She stopped at the stop sign at the intersection of Deer Flat Road and Happy Valley Road but then went into the intersection and failed to yield to a dump truck, which hit the rear passenger side of the bus, police say.

Daniel Cook, 11, was sitting in the 11th row. Several children were taken to St. Alphonsus. Cook died at the scene of the crash.

So, why was Boatwright charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter compared to a felony?

"If someone made a typical driving mistake running a stop sign, speeding a little bit over, swerving at the wrong time, those would tend to be classified as misdemeanors without gross negligence," said David Leroy, former attorney general.

"Someone on the other hand is driving recklessly, is disregarding human life and the likely consequences of their conduct, that would probably be deemed gross negligence."

In court, her attorney asked for a delay in the trial for more time to gather evidence.

Prosecutors say they didn't object to the continuance but pleaded with the judge to move things along so those involved in the crash can put the incident behind them.