Suit alleges Florida A&M band bus driver took part in hazing

Updated:

Loading

ORLANDO, Fla.,None - The hazing investigation at Florida A&M University just became more disturbing. The parents of Robery Champion, the drum major who died following Orlando's Florida Classic in November, are now suing charter bus driver Wendy Millette, accusing her of joining in the hazing that killed their son.

WFTV's Kathi Belich spoke with the Champions'lawyer, Chris Chesnut. Chesnut said he was told that the charter bus driver sometimes allowed hazing on "Bus C" while she was driving, and even stood guard the night Champion died.

The lawsuit says the so-called "Bus C Posse" prevented another hazing victim from helping him, but no one's naming names.

The lawsuit filed against Fabulous Coach Lines of Suwannee County tells of the horrors Champion suffered on the bus in the hours before his death.

The students had names for the rituals -- "Bus C" was when those being initiated had to run the length of the bus, being beaten as they ran. And if they fell, they started 
over, according to the lawsuit.

The "hot seat" was when their heads were covered with a pillowcase. They had to answer tough questions. If they were right, they got some air. If they were wrong, they were beaten, according to the lawsuit.

One eyewitness, identified as John Doe I, said he too was being initiated, but the "Bus C Posse" was more brutal with Champion. When John Doe I tried to help, he was pinned down.

At some point, Champion got sick.

"Robert Champion tried to get off the bus because he was vomiting," Chris Chesnut, the family's lawyer, said. "He was put back on the bus. The only person standing there was the bus driver."

The lawsuit also accuses Millette of purposely parking the bus in a secluded spot and leaving the air-conditioner running to accommodate the hazing, and accuses her of claiming to be a member of the Bus C Posse.

It also said that another bus driver saw her bus rocking and asked what was going on. She told him just to ignore it.

The attorney for the Champions said he hopes to question the bus driver and other witnesses under oath in the next three months.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office is still investigating and may get more answers than the Champions' lawyer, but it still might be difficult to prosecute anyone.

Chesnut said two other students who said they were being initiated by hazing on the bus the same night Champion died are telling what was going on, but they're not naming names.

So far, no one has been charged in Champion's death.