Bus driver charged after school bus with 16 children aboard hit by train in Rockingham County


Photo courtesy of Virginia State Police

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia State Police is investigating a crash involving a school bus and a train in Rockingham County on Wednesday that left several children hurt.

The crash occurred on Island Ford Road (Route 649) near the intersection of South East Side Highway (Route 340).

A Rockingham County Public School bus was traveling east on Route 649 and stopped at stop sign — with the rear of the bus partially above the train tracks, according to VSP.

The railroad crossing arms lowered and the rear of the bus was struck by a Norfolk Southern freight train. The train was not able to stop in time before the collision.

The driver of the bus, James Kite, 70, was not injured in the crash and was wearing a seatbelt.

Four children on the bus sustained minor injuries and were taken to Sentara RMH for treatment.

In total, 16 children were on the bus at the time of the incident.

The conductor and engineer were the only two people on the train and neither were injured.

Kite, the bus driver, was charged with failure to obey a traffic control device and railroad crossing sign.

The crash is currently under investigation.

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