Bartow County School Transportation System bus driver Shannon Banks was operating her bus on Young Road near Cartersville in Bartow County on August 20th. As Ms. Banks approached a 15-year-old student for pickup, she activated the bus caution lights. When the bus stopped, its red lights and stop sign system activated. This bus was also equipped with a video recording system which recorded the incident.
This video has been posted on our Facebook page.
A vehicle going the opposite direction stopped for the bus at a safe distance and the student began to cross the road to enter the bus. Ms. Banks observed a vehicle quickly approaching from behind the bus and that the vehicle was going to pass the bus into the path of the student. Ms. Banks immediately began to blow the bus horn in long blasts signaling the student, who was able to quickly get in front of the bus as the offender passed and kept going.
Ms. Banks notified her supervisors, who contacted the sheriff’s office. An investigation was immediately launched and several bus drivers reported seeing the distinctive older truck in the area of Road #3 South at a residence. Deputies and investigators located the truck at 126 Road # 3 South. Subsequent interviews and vehicle inspections resulted in the arrest Thursday morning of 42-year-old Blake Tyson Lockwood of the same address.
Lockwood was booked into the Bartow County Adult Detention Center on charges of Reckless Driving, Tampering with Evidence, Failure to Maintain Lane, Failure to Stop for School Bus Loading/Unloading, Failure to Obey Stop Sign, Driving Unsafe Vehicle, Removing Tag to Conceal Identity of Vehicle, and Improper Right Turn. Sheriff Clark Millsap stated that Lockwood removed the tag and the battery from the truck in an attempt to show that the truck wouldn’t run.
Sheriff Millsap recognizes that the actions of Ms. Banks resulted in the student quickly moving out of the path of the truck, possibly saving her from serious injury. She was recognized with a letter from Sheriff Millsap thanking her for her quick actions.