March 22, 2012
A Caroline County Circuit Court judge has ordered a bus dispatcher from North Carolina to stand trial in Virginia on charges connected to a crash that killed four passengers. An article released by WDBJ 7 News stated that the crash happened on the morning of May 31, 2011, along I-95, about 30 miles south of Richmond.
A spokeswoman for the Virginia State Police, Corinne Geller, told reporters that the bus was traveling northbound on the highway when it began to veer off toward the shoulder of the road. The bus left the lanes of traffic, hit an embankment, and rolled onto its roof. A total of 57 people were on board at the time of the accident. Dozens of passengers were injured and four died.
The bus driver later told police that his dispatcher ordered him to keep driving despite complaining that he was too tired.
The 41-year-old dispatcher was charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, to which he pleaded not guilty in court Wednesday. A circuit court judge ordered that a trial begin June 18. The driver of the bus also faces four counts of involuntary manslaughter.
The Virginia Auto Accident Lawyers with the Skolrood Law Firm say that bus drivers are limited, by law, to the amount of time they can drive per day. Going over that allotted time is illegal and may be considered negligent behavior for the driver and dispatcher.