Bus driver who hit 9 News van pleads not guilty

CINCINNATI - The bus driver who hit a 9 News van during a news conference about the collapse at Horseshoe Casino construction site appeared in court on Friday.

Joan Searless, 48, of Madisonville, pleaded not guilty.

Police cited Searless for improper change of course after the bus hit the van as she was trying to pull it in to the Greyhound bus station on Friday, Jan. 27.

After the collision, Searless stepped out of the bus and began yelling at the crowd. Searles had stopped the bus and honked twice before proceeding into the bus station driveway. After the accident Searles told the crowd of reporters, officials and bystanders she had a job to do and if they had not all been gathered on the sidewalk she would not have hit the truck.

Video of the accident, which interrupted the news conference, and the rant that followed, has been played around the country and on the Internet. Click play in the player above to see footage of the incident.

The GoBus involved in the accident is owned by Lakefront Lines, whose officials told 9 News that they were conducting a full investigation of the incident.

Searless has been suspended from her job at GoBus without pay. Her case is set for trial on Feb. 22 in front of Hamilton County Judge Dwayne Mallory.

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