Driver explains himself after dangerously passing school bus

CROSBY, TX (KTRK) -- The video investigators shared with us is jarring and has caused a lot of outrage from parents and school leaders in Crosby.

"It's unfortunate what happened, but it's very fortunate no one got hurt," says Precinct 3 Chief Jasen Rabalais.

The video shows a Chevy pickup truck racing by a school bus loaded with children. The incident happened last Thursday on Bohemian Hall Road. Precinct 3 detectives say a driver's dash cam caught the crime.

The bus comes to a stop, the flashing lights on and the stop sign deployed. But this driver is in a big rush, punches it, passing the bus, scurrying through the grass on the right shoulder. Seconds later third grader Armond Perez gets off the bus. His dad saw the video.

"My reaction was my heart was kind of broken because that was my son's life right there and that quick the guy just wasn't thinking and he could've taken his life at that moment," said the boy's father Armondo Perez.

Harris County sheriff's detectives were investigating the video trying to find the driver then the guy called.

"As long as I've been in law-enforcement I've never had anybody call and say that they wanted a citation for something they did wrong," added Chief Rabalais.

Precinct 3 Chief Rabalais says the 28-year-old driver called deputies. Eyewitness News caught up with Clay Stephens as he turned himself in.

"I wasn't thinking there's no excuse there's no justification of what I did. I left work early that day feeling sick and was two miles from the house and was going to pass the bus on the left-hand side and I was cut off and before I even knew it I went around the bus. The moment it happened I knew I made a huge mistake," said Stephens.

A mistake Stephens says he sincerely regrets.

"To all the parents and I want to sincerely apologize to the entire Crosby community and anybody who's outraged by this. To the kids on the bus I am eternally sorry and it will never happen again," added Clay.

"I mean I will take his apology but he has to understand that this is our kids that are out there," added Perez.

Stephens was cited for an unlawful pas but he knows this could've been much, much worse.

"A moment in a lapse of judgment can cause a lifetime a prison a lifetime of misery. A lifetime of sadness -- you can take a life without blinking an eye and never intend to," he added.

"So what have you learned from this?" we asked him.

"Patience," replied Stephens.

He is expected in front of a judge on December 18. Stephens said he is willing to take any punishment the judge hands down. null
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