A Maryland man was charged with a traffic infraction Monday, after the Metrobus he was driving crashed head-on into a Fairfax County school bus carrying special-needs children.
He is Wilbur H. Lucas Jr., 45, of 9906 Quiet Glen Court in Springdale, Md., and Fairfax County police charged him with reckless driving. Police say no one sustained life-threatening injuries in the collision, but three adults and one student were taken to local hospitals for treatment.
THE INCIDENT occurred around 7 a.m., near the intersection of Braddock Road and Newton Patent Drive in Centreville. Braddock is a curvy road with poor sight distance, and the accident happened just after the spot where westbound drivers coming from Route 28 have to merge from two lanes into one.
Police say that's the direction the Metrobus was traveling on Braddock when it collided with the schoolbus headed east on Braddock, en route to the Kilmer Center in Vienna. It's a school for special-needs students, and the school bus contained three students, plus a 67-year-old aide to one of them.
"Officers at the scene determined that the Metrobus crossed over the double-yellow line and into the path of the school bus," say police. "As a result, both buses impacted on the driver's side and the school-bus driver was trapped inside the bus."
The force of the contact pinned the school-bus driver, a 26-year-old Manassas woman, in her vehicle, and county fire-and-rescue personnel had to extricate her with the "jaws of life." She was then medevaced to Inova Fairfax Hospital.
One student, the aide and Lucas were all taken by ambulance to Inova Fair Oaks Hospital. The Metrobus, on route 12D, had been on its way to the Vienna Metro Station.
Fairfax County Public Schools spokesman Paul Regnier declined to identify the ages or genders of the students on the school bus. And police spokesman Bud Walker would only say that the Kilmer School has students ranging in age from 5-21.
As for the school-bus driver's condition, said Regnier, "She was certainly banged up, but she will be OK."