Bus driver drops middle school student off near bear - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Bus driver drops middle school student off near bear

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OLALLA, Wash. - Every afternoon, a school bus from John Sedgewick Junior High in Olalla drops Mackenzie Cude off at her bus stop.

Her mother usually waits there for her. This time, something else was.

"I was looking out the window and I saw this big huge furry thing and I was like 'Whoa that's a bear!'" said the 12-year-old.

Her mother wants to know why the bus driver let her off at the stop and drove off.

"I was floored. I absolutely did not believe they would let her off the bus knowing a bear was 30 feet from where she gets dropped off," says Erika Cude.

The bus comes down Nelson Road and stops at a driveway on the 3900 block. She says the bear was just down a driveway.

All the kids on the bus saw it, even though apparently the bus driver did not.

The South Kitsap School District released this statement:

"South Kitsap School District takes this situation seriously as student safety is our top priority. We can promise the community that we are revisiting our procedures that pertain to such incidences. We will meet with all of our drivers to make sure they are clear on what actions to take in a similar situation."

Fish and Wildlife says the neighborhood has had recent bear sightings and that for Olalla they are not uncommon.

Mackenzie's mother immediately thinks back to a cyclist who was mauled two years ago at a nearby park.

"It could have killed the man. It was never caught. They set traps. The bears are hungry and they're very aggressive this time of year," Erika Cude said.

The Cude family knows bear attacks are rare. They still want to the school district to be more aware.

"I just was like it's a bear, whatever. Just kept walking. But it really could have hurt me," she said.

Mackenzie says in hindsight she should have been more careful.


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