HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) - Governor Bob Riley consoled victims of a school bus wreck that killed four teenage girls and called for a review of bus safety Wednesday after a stop at the crash site, marked by a nearby makeshift memorial of posters and stuffed animals.
Riley said school buses that lack seat belts, like the one that toppled over an interstate overpass railing Monday morning, are safer than other forms of transporting children. But he said the nation should -- quote -- "at least have a debate" to see if school bus safety can be improved.
He said federal transportation department officials promised to assist in an analysis of school bus safety and any possible need for seat belts. He told reporters at Huntsville Hospital that his administration will review every policy and every procedure.
Riley said school buses have been "incredibly safe" over the past 30-to-35 years. But he said if there is a way to lessen the risk further, he wants to do it.
A Huntsville Hospital spokeswoman said 12 other classmates remain hospitalized -- three in critical condition.
The bus driver is listed in serious condition. He was identified as Anthony Scott. He has been unable to speak with investigators, who are uncertain how he exited the bus before it crashed.
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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