North Thurston bus driver accused of hitting a child is charged with gross misdemeanor

Steve Bloom/

A North Thurston Public Schools bus driver accused of hitting a child on his bus last month has been charged with fourth-degree assault, a gross misdemeanor, in Thurston County District Court, court information shows.

The driver, William H. Maibauer, 75, was charged Nov. 2 and is set to be arraigned in district court Nov. 28.

Maibauer has not been arrested, but has received a summons to appear in court, Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Tara Tsehlana said.

The incident occurred the afternoon of Oct. 2 as the boy was riding home from Lydia Hawk Elementary School. Video from the school bus, first obtained by KIRO 7, appears to show the bus driver’s hand making contact with the boy’s back, The Olympian reported.

In the video, the boy appears to be facing backward in his bus seat rather than facing forward.

Maibauer, who has worked for the district since March 2020, is still employed by the district, spokeswoman Amy Blondin said Wednesday.

He has gone through some additional training and has been reassigned to a different bus route, she said.

Mother says North Thurston bus driver hit her son with his hand. And there’s video