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Driver of minivan facing charge in Ohio school bus crash that killed 1 student, hurt 23

Very few states require school buses to have seat belts
Posted at 6:29 PM, Aug 23, 2023

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ohio — The driver of a minivan involved in a crash with an Ohio school bus that left one student dead and more than a score of others injured is now facing a criminal charge.

According to Clark County Municipal Court records, 35-year-old Hermanio Joseph of Springfield is charged with fourth-degree vehicular homicide, a felony.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol said 52 children from Northwestern Local Schools and a driver were on the bus shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday when an oncoming minivan veered into its path on Route 41 in Lawrenceville. Trooper Tyler Ross said the bus veered onto the shoulder but was unable to avoid a collision and overturned.

One student ejected from the bus was pronounced dead at the scene. Twenty-three children were taken to hospitals by emergency medical personnel and others, including parents. One seriously injured student was taken to Children's Hospital, while the injuries of the other 22 children were described as non-life-threatening.

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Joseph and a passenger in the minivan were also taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Northwestern Local Schools, where classes were to begin Tuesday, canceled Wednesday and Thursday classes but said grief counselors would be available at the elementary and junior/senior schools for anyone needing support. Staff members would get training to support students when they return Friday, officials said.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the families that have been impacted by this tragedy,” the school district said on its Facebook page.

Court documents don't list an attorney representing Joseph and a listed number for him couldn't be found Wednesday.

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