Bus driver cleared of infraction

A man who was driving a charter bus that crashed on the way back from a school field trip was found not guilty of a traffic infraction on Wednesday.

Carlton Anthony Roman was charged with following too closely after the bus he was driving struck another bus while traveling west on state Route 55 near the intersection of High Knob Road. The two Richards Bus Lines buses were transporting around 95 students, parents and faculty from E. Wilson Morrison Elementary School home from a field trip to the American History Museum in Washington, D.C., on April 18.

A car turning left onto High Knob caused another car behind it and the first charter bus to stop. The second bus ran into the stopped bus.

Virginia State Trooper Baker Williams, who responded to the crash, said in court that any injuries from the incident were mainly bumps and bruises and that speed was not a factor in the crash. He said that tire skid marks at the scene began at the top of the hill.

The woman driving the other Richards Bus Lines bus testified to the other drivers’ behavior and how close Roman was following before getting to the hill before High Knob Road. She said their buses are 45 feet long and that there was less than three bus lengths between her vehicle and the top of the hill.

Robert Janney, Roman’s defense attorney, made a motion to strike the case, citing officers’ claims that the intersection is notorious for crashes.

“I don’t know of any charge the commonwealth has available in this case,” he said.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com