Careless driving charges in crash

Adams police say school bus driver at fault

November 1, 2018 Cranberry Local News

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Adams Township police charged school bus driver, Sandra L. Boehler, 51, of Gibsonia, with careless driving violations following this Sept. 24 crash on Route 228.

ADAMS TWP — Careless driving is reported to be the cause of a September crash involving a Mars School District bus, in which six students were injured.

Adams Township police charged the driver, Sandra L. Boehler, 51, of Gibsonia, with careless driving violations after its investigation of the crash, which occurred Sept. 24 on Route 228.

“Boehler operated the school bus with careless disregard for the safety of others by not keeping the school bus within its lane of travel resulting in a serious motor vehicle crash/mass casualty incident,” investigating officer Christopher Kopas wrote in his report.

After reviewing video from several buses and physical damage caused by the crash, Kopas concluded that Boehler drifted from her lane, catching the front right wheel on a temporary barrier, sending the bus out of control, over a guide rail and down the hill.

The guide rail had been previously damaged by a vehicle crash.

Of the 43 Mars students on the bus, six suffered minor injuries and the rest were evaluated and released to parents. The driver received a scratch on her finger which was bleeding, according to a police report.

Kopas reported that the bus, a 2017 Bluebird, showed no signs of mechanical malfunction upon inspection and that Boehler was not found to be under the influence of any drugs or alcohol.

In her written statement, provided to police by the bus service provider, A.J. Myers & Sons, Boehler said another vehicle had crossed into her lane, causing her to move to the right. Upon review of video footage from the bus driven by Boehler and from a bus in front of it, Kopas concluded that no vehicle or any other outside factor was to blame.

“At the time of the crash there were no observed or stated environmental factors that contributed to the crash, further corroborating my belief that driver error was the sole cause of the crash,” he wrote.

Police filed careless driving citations against Boehler on Oct. 22.

Asked whether Boehler still works transporting district students, Superintendent Wesley Shipley said he understood Boehler “expressed a desire to retire,” but referred all questions about her employment status to the bus company which declined to comment Tuesday.

Since the crash, district officials have been working with state police and PennDOT to ensure students are not at risk on their bus routes.

“We did have a meeting with PennDOT and we also had a response from the state police stating that the intersection and work zone meet safety standards,” Shipley said in an email.

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