CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – UPDATE: 3:45 p.m.: Charleston Traffic Division Commander Sgt Burford says the Kanawha County school bus involved in the accident near the Greenbrier Street exit on I-77 was a special needs school bus.
UPDATE 2:21 p.m.: A spokesperson for Kanawha County Schools has released a statement regarding the arrest of a school bus driver following the accident on I-77 this morning.
We are not able to discuss personnel matters, however all KCS bus drivers are subject to our policies and state and federal law. KCS policy G55A addresses bus drivers who are in an accident and other bus driver drug testing. We take the safety of our students very seriously and that is why this policy is very specific about driver conduct and testing pre-employment and during employment with random drug screens. Discipline for employees is covered in KCS G13 and State Code. KCS holds every driver to all laws, policies and procedures at the county, state and federal level. As with any KCS employee, we will follow any applicable disciplinary procedure.Kanawha County Schools Spokesperson
The spokesperson also said Susan Lipscomb has been employed with KCS since 1998. She was a substitute bus aide, then a bus aide. She started in her current role as a bus operator in September of 2005.
UPDATE 12:50 p.m.: The Charleston Police Department says the school bus driver in this morning’s four-vehicle collision on I-77 has been arrested.
Police say following an investigation into the accident, the school bus driver, Susan Ann Lipscomb, 58, of Charleston, was arrested and charged with 3 counts of Driving Under the Influence-Causing Bodily Injury and 1 count of Driving Under the Influence-With a Minor in the Vehicle.
Police say six children were on board the Kanawha County School bus, two of which children were transported to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. One of the other vehicles involved in the collision caught fire. The female driver of this vehicle was transported to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. The Charleston Police Department Crash Investigation Unit conducted the investigation.
The Kanawha County Schools bus transportation officials and the Kanawha County Schools security office were fully cooperative with the investigation.
UPDATE 10:45 a.m.: West Virginia 511 reports that I-77 has reopened and the road has cleared following the accident this morning near the Greenbrier Street exit.
ORIGINAL STORY: Kanawha County Emergency dispatch officials say that a multi-vehicle accident involving a school bus has blocked the slow and middle lanes of I-77 at mile marker 99 just before the Greenbrier Street exit.
Officials also say emergency crews are treating eight patients with minor injuries. A spokesperson for Kanawha County Schools says the bus aide reported that six students were on board the bus, two of which have been transported to the hospital as a precaution for reportedly minor injuries.
The district’s Safety Director, Security Director and Transportation Director are all working with local law enforcement during this initial investigation.