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Two more school bus crashes bring total to five in just over a week

Stephen Igo and Nick Shepherd • Feb 28, 2014 at 9:03 PM

Two separate bus crashes occurred Friday, one in Virginia and another in Tennessee.

A car ran into a school bus from behind early Friday in Big Stone Gap, but neither the kids on the bus nor the driver of the car were injured, school officials and police said.

The bus had 34 children headed for Big Stone Gap's public school complex of Union High School and Powell Valley Primary and Middle Schools when it was struck from behind on Shawnee Avenue.

Big Stone Gap Police Sgt. W.A. Hollinger did not have the identity of the female driver of the car readily available but said she told police she thought the bus was getting ready to move after being stopped, but it stopped after moving just a bit.

The female driver was cited for following too close, Hollinger said.

"It was nothing bad. Nothing major," he said. "She thought the bus was going, and it was not."

Damages were light to both vehicles, he added.

Gene Rowland, Wise County school division's director of human resources and personnel, said all the kids got checked out by a school nurse when they arrived at their school, after being transported by another bus, and were fine.

Earlier Friday, a Piney Flats man was arrested on multiple charges after striking a Bristol City school bus.

Chad E. Silva, 33, 2826 Rocky Springs Road, was arrested and charged with failure to exercise due care, driving on suspended and no insurance.

Around 7:30 a.m. Friday, Silva was traveling north on Beaver Creek Road. He lost control of his truck, crossed the center line and collided with the school bus at a right angle. The truck slid sideways and struck the front of the bus with the right side of the bed.

There were 15 people on the bus, 14 students and the driver. No injuries were reported in the crash.

School officials were on the scene quickly, according to a news release, and all the children were transferred to another bus and taken to school.

The two crashes Friday mark five accidents involving school buses in a little more than a week. Two occurred in the Bloomingdale area of Sullivan County, one in Gate City, one in Piney Flats and one in Big Stone Gap.

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