Who pays? Brookston man feels victimized twice by bus crash

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Police say a 12-year-old boy steals a school bus after the driver leaves the keys inside, leads police on a chase and crashes the bus into a truck and home in Brookston.

Who pays for the damage?

That's what Travis Gregory wants to know and right now, he feels like he's been victimized twice.

"I'm not the one who asked for any of this," Gregory said. "I'm the victim here and they're telling me I have to take care of it? I just don't think it's right."

Gregory can't drive his Dodge Ram pick-up, can't take it to get to work in West Lafayette. It needs thousands of dollars in repairs.

Walking around the beat-up vehicle, he points to the shattered window, the dangling rear view window, the bent rim, the smashed in front bumper and grille.

He hasn't moved the truck since it was hit early Tuesday morning. He can't. It won't go anywhere and he says he can't afford the repairs.

"This is an extreme burden," the father of two young children said. "If it weren't for my mom helping me with the rental car for a week and a half, I'd have no way to get to work, I'd lose my job, not be able to pay rent and be homeless."

READ MORE: 12-year-old steals school bus

Gregory said he assumed Frontier School Corporation would cover the damage, but he says Thursday an insurance agent representing the district told him "no," because it was the result of a crime.

"She was saying it wasn't their fault, even though the driver admitted to me and everyone else though it's not policy to leave the keys in the bus, everybody does and she did, too. She left the keys in the bus and left the bus unlocked," Gregory said.

And he calls that negligence on the part of the driver and the school corporation. Eyewitness News was unable to reach the superintendent or the bus driver, but there was a new bus parked in her driveway Thursday evening.

The school corporation's attorney, Robert Little, said he had not heard of any final decision from the insurance company. He also confirmed the bus driver was still employed by the district.

He also questioned whether the boy's parents might be liable.

Gregory said either way, he can't afford an an attorney.

"I just want my truck fixed so I can go to work and make money for my family," he said.