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Bus Driver Charged In I-95 Field Trip Bus Crash

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Authorities have charged the bus driver involved in a crash that sent dozens of students to the hospital after the bus overturned on I-95 back in May.

The crash happened on May 15, as the charter bus was southbound on I-95 from Philadelphia to Washington D.C.

School officials said 26 8th grade students from Charles W. Henry School in Philadelphia, along with two teachers and a parent chaperone, were aboard the bus for a field trip.

RELATED: 26 Children Were Aboard Bus That Overturned On I-95

As the bus was near exit 89 to MD-155 in Havre de Grace, there was a collision between the bus and a Honda Civic.

The bus then traveled off the right side of the interstate, struck an embankment and then struck a tree, breaking the tree in half, before overturning onto its left side. The bus came to rest across the right and middle lanes of the interstate.

There were multiple injuries, but no deaths as a result of this crash.

Maryland State Police began investigating the crash, along with the Harford County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Authorities had a hard time getting a clear picture of the crash from witness statements, but were able to get the camera recordings from the bus at the time of the crash.

“Somewhere when the car is along side of the bus, the bus starts to drift into the car’s lane. Which is consistent with what the car’s driver said at the time that he was over on the shoulder,” said Harford County State’s Attorney Joseph Casilly.

The state’s attorney’s office says the recordings shows the bus traveling in the slow lane, while the Honda Civic was beside the bus in the fast lane.

The bus then begins changing lanes, forcing the Honda Civic onto the shoulder. The recording then ends as the Honda Civic reached the front of the bus.

Given the seriousness of the accident, Maryland law limits the charges.

Based on the video footage, the bus driver, identified as Clarence C. Beamer, Jr., is being charged with negligent driving contributing to an accident and failing to drive in a designated lane.

“The most we can charge with was negligent driving, which is a possible $500 fine and failing to drive in a designated lane, which is again a $500 fine,” Casilly said.

One victim is still recovering from her injuries.

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