A Mercer County school bus driver pleaded guilty Friday to sexually abusing a student, who died in a crash last year.
The Mercer Police Department said the 43-year-old driver, who has been fired, was arrested on Friday.
The victim was a 13-year old girl.
A Mercer spokesman said in a statement that the school bus was traveling from Westfield Merced to East Merced when the incident occurred.
The bus stopped at a school crossing.
The driver is scheduled to be sentenced May 26 in the Mercer Municipal Court.
The charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Mercer Police Chief Michael Buell said the incident was an unfortunate incident and the district’s thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family and friends.
Mercers attorney, Michael DeCaro, said the school district is cooperating fully with Mercer police and that the case will be reviewed by the Merced County District Attorney’s Office.
He said a decision will be made on whether to prosecute.
Merced police did not release the name of the victim or of the driver.
Mercy Police Chief Steve Johnson said the bus was being driven from the Mercers Westfield Campus to the Merces East Merces Campus.
The Merces School District did not have a school bus stop at the scene.
Merced police and the Merce County Sheriff’s Office investigated the crash.
Merces school district released the following statement about the incident:Mercer is saddened by this tragic accident and our hearts go out to the victim, her family, friends and the entire school community.
Merce police have made every effort to assist the Mercing School District and the police department in their investigation.
Merces students will continue to receive the support they need in order to move forward with the school day.
The district has been working with Merced Police and Mercer Schools Chancellor William C. DeSimone to help them.
Mercedes police spokeswoman Diane Williams said officers received a call at 1:52 p.m. on May 17 about a schoolbus crash on Highway 22 in Merced.
Police found the bus, which had a driver in the back seat, was headed toward Merced’s East Mercs campus and it was not clear whether the driver was driving the bus.
The bus driver, identified as Jason DeCaroe, was not injured.