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Family of local child killed by school bus says driver not to blame

Brenden Houston, 6, may have been leaning down to tie shoe.

A day after a Herndon Magnet School 1st grader was struck and killed by a Caddo parish school bus, investigators are looking at surveillance video to determine what may have happened. The family of 6-year-old, Brenden Houston, believe his shoes may have played a role.

"Normally he has velcro shoes and if he would have wore those, instead of getting muddy the day before, he wouldn't have bent over to tie his shoes and he would have been off the road," says Gary Keltner, who is the fiance of Brenden's mother.

The bus driver, 59 year old, Debra Kay Stevens, has been placed on administrative leave. The family says they do not blame the driver.

"It wasn't her fault what happened, she blamed herself for a lot of it I think, but it wasn't her fault," said an emotional Keltner.

Caddo Superintendent, Dr. Theodis Goree, met with bus drivers this morning and says grief counselors were available at Herndon Magnet on Friday.

"In times like this it is certainly our faith that we rely upon and this family was clearly doing that, and that's what we as a school district will do to get through this difficult time," Goree said during a morning press conference.

The school has set up an account for the family at Capital One Bank. Anyone wishing to make donations can go to any Capital One branch and mention Brenden Houston.

(Photos of Brenden courtesy: Kim Riley)
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