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Greene Co. School Bus Driver Facing Charges; 7 Injured from Cras - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Greene Co. School Bus Driver Facing Charges; 7 Injured From Crash

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A Greene County school bus driver is facing charges after a crash that injured a driver and sent six elementary school students to the hospital Thursday.

With two crashes occurring in one month, the school system is taking a hard look at safety issues.

There were 10 children riding in the bus to Greene Primary and Nathaniel Greene Elementary School Thursday morning. That's when a car crashed into it as it crossed route 29 at the intersection of Fredericksburg Road.

Six of the students and the driver of the car went to the hospital for minor injuries while the other four kids continued on to class. The bus driver, 62-year-old Lori Whittmeyer, was charged with failure to yield the right of way and is suspended from taking the wheel for the last few days of school.

Greene County schools just dealt with an accident on May 20 when a bus hit a guard rail on Advance Mills Road.

Having these two situations so close together does have administration on edge.

Greene County Superintendent David Jeck stated, "When you're driving to work and you hear about something like this - I was taking my own child to school - you know, your first instinct is to make sure all of the kids are okay and the kids are safe."

Jeck said they are taking a close look at all procedures from bus contact lists to driver training to see where improvements can be made.

He stated the back to back incidents do worry him but the top priority of any decision is getting the kids to and from school safely. County administration is not sure yet whether or not they will allow this driver to be behind the wheel of a bus again.


Virginia State Police
Press Release

Seven individuals suffered minor injuries in a two-vehicle crash in Greene County Thursday morning (June 2, 2011). Virginia State Police Master Trooper J.W. Sullivan, Jr. responded to the crash which occurred at the intersection of Route 29 and Route 609 at 7:25 a.m.

A Greene County school bus was stopped in the crossover of the median on Route 29. As the bus pulled across the southbound lanes of Route 29 to head west on Route 609, it pulled into the path of a southbound 2009 Kia SXC. The Kia was unable to stop in time and struck the side of the bus.

The driver of the bus, Lori A. Wittmeyer, 62, of Ruckersville, was not injured in the crash. She was wearing a seat belt. There were a total of 10 children on the bus. Six of the children were transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

The driver of the Kia, Karen M. Matarazzo, 51, of Orange, was injured in the crash and transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Matarazzo was wearing a seat belt.

Wittmeyer was charged with failure to yield the right of way. 


Greene County Public Schools
Press Release

This morning a Greene County school bus was involved in an accident resulting in the bus failing to yield the right of way to a car at the intersection of Fredericksburg Road and Route 29 South. The driver pulled over to check on the students and reported the incident. Subsequently, students complained about various injuries. Six students were transported to the UVA medical center for evaluation.

The first priority of Greene County Schools was to make sure the students were examined for injuries and were safe. Due to the sensitive nature of a bus accident, central office staff personally contacted the parents of the students on the bus at the time of the accident, in lieu of an Instant Alert message.

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