Safety

School Bus Driver Involved in Bus-Train Crash Indicted

Nicole Schlosser
Posted on June 5, 2019

ATHENS, Texas — The school bus driver who was involved in a crash with a train here in January that killed a student has been arrested and indicted for criminally negligent homicide and injury to a child.

As SBF previously reported, on Jan. 25, John Stevens was driving his bus when he approached a railroad crossing and came to a stop, but then continued across the tracks directly in front of a westbound Union Pacific train, according to the Athens Police Department. The bus was impacted on its left side and became lodged on the locomotive. The train and bus then traveled about one-quarter of a mile down the track before coming to a stop at Murchison St. crossing.

Christopher Bonilla, 13, one of the two students aboard the bus, was ejected and died as a result of his injuries, police said. The other student on board, Joselyne Torres, 9, was trapped inside the bus, had to be extricated, and was critically injured. Stevens was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Although no automated arms or warning lights were in place at the crossing, crossbuck and yield signs were posted there, police said. A witness to the crash reported hearing the train’s horn as it approached the intersection.

The Athens Police Department released a report in February, as SBF previously reported, that states that Stevens stopped right before the tracks as state law requires, and then pulled forward. It was at that point that the bus was struck by the train. The report was sent to the Henderson County District Attorney’s Office, according to KETK.  

Stevens was arrested on Monday, CBS DFW reports. He was charged by two separate indictments by a grand jury, according to a statement, obtained by KLTV, from District Attorney Mark Hall’s Office. The charges are listed as injury to a child causing serious bodily injury and manslaughter/criminally negligent homicide, according to the statement. An arraignment date has not been set yet.

Related Topics: fatalities, railroad crossing, school bus crash, Texas

Nicole Schlosser Executive Editor
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