Update: Augusta County has since revised the school bus route after the crash. The Augusta superintendent says that bus now uses a pair of intersecting roads to make the U-turn. That adds about five minutes to the bus schedule. A substitute driver is handling the route while school officials investigate the crash.
Two students and a school bus driver were treated for minor injuries after a crash early Wednesday morning south of Staunton.
The accident on Route 11 (Lee Jackson Highway) happened when Augusta County School Bus 129 collided with a Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The bus was headed south on Route 11 when it pulled off into the right shoulder to turn around and head north. The bus driver, 61-year-old Bruce Pugh, then pulled across southbound lanes, in front of the Jeep.
State police say two students from Beverley Manor Elementary School, and the bus driver, were taken to Augusta Health with minor injuries. The remaining students, about 30 elementary and middle school students, were moved onto another bus.
The driver of the Jeep, 53-year-old Ann S. Schooley of Staunton, wasn't injured.
Pugh was charged with failure to yield the right of way.
Virginia State Police MEDIA RELEASE
AUGUSTA CO. – A school bus driver and two students were injured Wednesday morning (Feb. 27) in a two-vehicle crash in Augusta County.
At 7:26 a.m., Virginia State Police Trooper Z.J. Blevins was called to the scene of the crash in the 1100 block of Lee Jackson Highway/Route 11.
An Augusta County school bus was southbound on Route 11 when it pulled off onto the right shoulder to turn around and head north on Route 11. (The shoulder is wider at this location to allow for the bus to make the turn safely and legally.) As the bus pulled across the southbound lanes to head north, it pulled out in front of a southbound 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee was unable to avoid the bus and struck it in the side. The driver of the bus, Bruce K. Pugh, 61, of Staunton, and two students were transported by ambulance to Augusta Health for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
There were approximately 30 elementary and middle school students on the bus at the time of the crash. Pugh was wearing a seat belt. The driver of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ann S. Schooley, 53, of Staunton, was not injured in the crash. Schooley was wearing a seat belt.
Pugh was charged with failure to yield the right of way. All lanes were reopened by 8:15 a.m.