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School bus driver, Elizabeth Burris, gets probation for crash that hurt 5 students

Posted at 8:06 AM, Oct 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-05 14:32:58-04

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. -- The driver of a school bus that flipped, injuring five students, has been sentenced to probation.

Elizabeth Burris pleaded guilty to careless driving last month. Prosecutors dropped 13 other charges against her, according to court records.

In court Tuesday, Burris apologized to the victim's families and said she deeply cared for each child on the bus and prioritized them even on the day of the crash, according to our partners at the Boulder Daily Camera. She said she could not have children of her own and had finally found a job that filled that void.

"I recognize that despite how much I cared, the accident still happened and I was the driver," Burris said. "I am the one to blame."

The St. Vrain Valley School District bus was carrying eight students when it tipped in a steep part of a canyon near Lyons on Dec. 7, 2015.

Burris told police that she drifted off the road, attempted to gain control and overcorrected.

Two children, 15, suffered serious injuries. Three others suffered minor injuries.

Court documents showed Burris was taking six prescription medications, but prosecutors said conflicting reports on Burris' sobriety would have made it difficult to proceed with DUI and vehicular assault charges. Defense attorney Sarah Schielke said Burris was suffering from a migraine and fatigue, but was not impaired.

The judge sentenced Burris to one year of supervised probation, but did not give her community service.

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