Ohio governor names members of school bus safety investigation group

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced members of the new Ohio School Bus Safety Working Group, which was created after a Clark County school bus crash in which one child was killed and dozens more were injured last week.

According to a release, 13 individuals will serve on the group and will look into topics including school bus regulations, crash risk factors, school bus seat belts and school bus safety technology.

“There is always more that can be done when it comes to the safety of children, and I believe we have an obligation to take a holistic look at the safety of our school buses,” DeWine said in the release. “This group’s review will be thorough, focusing on many different aspects of transportation safety.”

Members of the group include Ohio Department of Public Safety Director Andy Wilson, Carolyn Everidge-Frey of the Center for Advancing Professional Sports and Ohio Department of Education, Ohio Insurance Institute President Dean Fadel, Ohio Department of Insurance Director Judith French, Paul Imhoff of the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, Col. Carl Hones of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jack Marchbanks, parent Jessica Mead, Erin Reed of DeWine’s office, South Euclid Lyndhurst school bus driver David Russell, Robert Widener of the Ohio School Bus Mechanics Association, Chris Woolard of the DOE and Jingzhen Yang of the Abigail Wexner Research Institute and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Wilson is the former Clark County prosecutor.

The crash happened Aug. 22 in the 4100 block of Troy Road (Ohio 41) at Lawrenceville, northwest of Springfield. A 2010 Honda Odyssey went left of the center line into the path of the oncoming school bus.

The bus driver attempted to avoid the Honda by driving onto the shoulder, but the bus still collided with the minivan. The bus and van went off the side of the road, with the bus rolling over. Aiden Clark, 11, was ejected and died on the scene, and another suffered life-threatening injuries. Dozens more children were injured and taken to area medical centers for treatment.

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

More members may be added to the group before its first public meaning next month, according to the release. Recommendations from the group are expected before the year ends.

Hermanio Joseph, 35, faces first-degree felony involuntary manslaughter and fourth-degree felony vehicular homicide charges in connection with the crash.

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