By Joe Beck
The veteran driver of a school bus involved in a Friday morning crash in Shenandoah County that sent eight children to the hospital has been charged with reckless driving, state police Sgt. Sgt. F.L. (Les) Tyler said Monday.
Shenandoah County Public Schools Superintendent Keith Rowland said the driver, Lisa Lynn Knicely, has been placed on administrative leave. No information was available on whether she is on paid or unpaid leave.
The bus driven by Knicely crashed at 7:30 a.m. on Headley Road (Va. 600) three-tenths of a mile east of Va. 661 with 45 children on board. Authorities said the bus was headed west on Headley Road, ran off the right side of the road and ran into a fence and utility pole.
Eight children were taken to Shenandoah Memorial Hospital where none were found to have serious injuries, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Rowland said Knicely has driven for the school system for 10 years and also has experience driving in another school system.
"This is not a beginning driver," Rowland said, adding, "she's never had any problems before."
Rowland said Knicely will remain on leave while the school system is conducting its own investigation of the accident. Asked what effect the outcome of the court case could have on her status, Rowland replied, "I think we will certainly adhere to what the courts are doing as well."
Rowland added that Knicely is "entitled to due process, and we're going to see that she gets that."
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org