An employee for Kiddie Kab, which provides children’s transportation service for Oak Park, River Forest, and Forest Park schools, among other clients, was arrested Feb. 17 after River Forest police determined he didn’t possess a commercial driver’s license. That driver, Donald Andersen, 48, was issued tickets for three other violations as well, including driving a vehicle that was not marked as a school bus, had no stop sign swing arm, and wasn’t equipped with special lighting required for school buses.
Andersen’s supervisor, Yvonne Calloway, who had to finish Andersen’s route after he was ticketed, was cited by police for allowing Andersen to drive a company vehicle without a proper license.
However, Kiddie Kab owner Ronald Calloway said Monday that all four tickets issued to Andersen, and one to his wife, were improper.
“It’s not required,” Calloway said of the commercial licensure. “We don’t own school buses. The Kiddie Kab fleet, he said, consists of 15 passenger vans.
“As far as I know, we don’t need to have them,” he said of the school bus markings and lights.
“They can say whatever they want. That’s why there’s court,” said River Forest Deputy Chief Dan Dooghie on Tuesday. Dooghie said the tickets were, in fact, based on both state law and local ordinance.
Andersen was also given both a field sobriety test and blood alcohol test, both of which he passed. School officials stated that they were told Andersen was not arrested “for any sort of intoxication.”
However, Andersen was subsequently fired by Calloway, who declined to discuss any details Monday.
“I can’t comment on that,” he said. “That’s confidential.” District 90 school officials would only say they understood Andersen had been terminated.
“I can tell you that that driver had been on that route for two years, and was extremely well regarded by the parents and kids,” said Dist. 90 Supt. Marlene Kamm. “Why the company chose to let him go, I can’t tell you.
Andersen was questioned by River Forest police at Lincoln School around 11 a.m., Feb. 17 after a complaint was phoned in stating that Andersen was parked in an unsafe manner while picking up students. He had reportedly had some sort of verbal confrontation with a woman regarding that incident, and she subsequently phoned police.
“The caller complained that the way he was parked was unsafe for children unloading,” Dooghie said Monday.
Dist. 90 officials sent a letter to parents on Andersen’s route, explaining the reason their children were late getting home Feb. 17, which was an early dismissal day.
“What we are telling parents is that it was an incident between a driver and a parent,” said Anthony Cozzi, the district’s business director
Kamm said Cozzi was also researching the legal requirements regarding licensure of the Kiddie Kab drivers with officials at the State Board of Education.
Kiddie Kab’s Calloway said he is presently working on a letter to be sent to Dist. 90 parents explaining his company’s position.
“We want to get it out before the end of the week,” he said.