Connect with us

Local News

After allegedly setting fire to the bus while children were inside, a former school bus driver was charged and placed under arrest



Salt Lake City, Utah – A United States Magistrate Judge ordered the detention of Michael Austin Ford, 58, a former Granite School District bus driver who is accused of lighting a school bus on fire twice.

According to a news release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah, Ford, a resident of West Valley City, was charged on February 21, 2024, by a federal grand jury for two suspected arson incidents while operating the bus.

According to the news release, Ford is accused of setting a Granite School District school bus on fire while operating it in February 2022. At the time, the vehicle was carrying forty-two children and was traveling through traffic. The allegations are documented in court documents.

According to the announcement, Ford was seen on camera driving the bus even after he was accused of using a tool to cause a fire and smoke was “billowing past his face towards the back of the bus where children were seated.”

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Ford was seen on camera once more in April 2023, allegedly starting a second fire on a Granite School District bus while it was stopped in traffic. The statement claims that Ford resumed driving when smoke billowed over his face.

“Defendant’s behavior was captured in multiple video recordings,” according to court documents dated February 2024. “Fire investigators have reviewed the evidence from both fires alleged in the Indictment and have concluded that both stem from an incendiary source.”

Ford allegedly didn’t stop the bus until the kids were “seen and heard on video coughing, covering their faces, and complaining about smoke,” according to court records.

According to the release, Ford was detained by Granite School Police in April 2023 but was later freed following interrogation.

“Ford is charged with two counts of arson of a vehicle of an organization receiving federal funds,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office stated. April 2024 has been designated for a jury trial.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *