NewsLocal News


Police ID driver killed in crash involving Chesterfield school bus

Posted at 9:32 AM, Feb 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-03 20:37:53-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Noel R. Santos, 26, of Creekglen Lane, was killed in an accident that involved a Chesterfield County school bus Tuesday morning, according to Chesterfield Police.

"A Chesterfield County Public Schools bus was traveling on Old Hundred Road through the intersection with Creekpointe Circle when it struck the driver’s side of a white Toyota Corolla. The bus pushed the car some distance," a Chesterfield Police spokeswoman said. "[Noel R. Santos] was the car’s only occupant."

Santos' remained under the bus as emergency crews arrived at the scene.

Chesterfield school bus fatal  crash

A Med-flight helicopter was called to the crash scene as emergency workers attempted to pull Santos out of the car. Santos was later pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. Four children, who were part of the gifted program at Greenfield Elementary School, were on the bus at the time of the accident. No students were seriously injured.

School bus crash fatal 02

"It is a Tomahawk Creek Middle School bus, but they had already dropped off TCMS students and were making their elementary school run when the accident occurred," Tomahawk Creek Middle School principal Dr. David Ellena wrote in an email to parents.

Students on the bus were "fine...just quiet" after crash

"The teachers didn't want to tell us anything because they didn't want to scare us."

That is how Greenfield Elementary School fourth grader "Anna" described the day at school after four of her classmates were on a school bus that crashed into a car and killed a man, 26-year-old Noel Santos of Midlothian.

No one on the school bus was injured. In fact, the students boarded another bus that eventually dropped them off at Greenfield Elementary.

"One of them went to the clinic because their ankle hurt and the other went to art class and then left," Anna said.

"They were fine, just quiet and the teacher was hugging them and stuff," Anna added, saying her classmates could see the school counselor if they wish.

According to investigators, Santos was struck by the bus while on Old Hundred Lane. Eyewitnesses say the impact was so severe it pushed the vehicle at least 40 yards.

Eyewitnesses speculate Santos was trying to turn left on the road and the time of the collision. It is unclear if bright sunshine played a part in the crash

"Buses are very sturdy," Sally Talbott, a former bus driver, told CBS 6.

Talbott said the padding in the seat cushions likely prevented any injuries of the school children. Talbott added that the bus driver will now be part of the investigation as they try to determine why this happened.

"Anytime an accident involves a bus driver, they have to look at everything," Talbott said.

As for Anna, she says her classmates are viewing this as a lesson to be careful when riding the bus.

"Now I don't want to get out of my seat or switch or anything," Anna said.