Dinwiddie school bus driver found guilty after overturning bus

Posted at 2:51 PM, Mar 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-16 14:59:46-04

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. -- A school bus driver was convicted for reckless driving after overturning a bus with 32 students on board in Dinwiddie County in January.

Judge Mayo Gravatt found Linda Moss, 67, guilty for causing the January 12 crash in the 25000 block of Ferndale Road in Dinwiddie.

Moss and the 32 Sutherland Elementary students were transported to the hospital, mostly as a precautionary measure, while one student suffered a broken wrist.

Outside of the courtroom Thursday morning, CBS 6's Brendan King asked if Moss had an apology for the parents of the students on the bus.

"They already heard what I had to say," Moss said while walking to her car.

Linda Moss leaves the Dinwiddie County Courthouse.

Linda Moss leaves the Dinwiddie County Courthouse.

In court, Moss told the judge that she had developed "a habit" for taking the 30 mile-per-hour curve on Ferndale Road near Pinecroft Road wide to avoid drivers she said would often cross the center line during their morning commute.

"To me that's a very sharp curve," she testified.

Moss said she had only driven that particular route for about four months out of her six-year employment with Dinwiddie County Schools.

Outside of the courtroom, Moss' attorney John Chappell explained "The wheels got off the road slightly, and [there was] some bad weather conditions or residue of bad weather conditions, and when she tried to over-correct, it turned over."

Moss admitted to jerking the wheel when the bus began to slide.

"I don't think she maliciously tried to overturn the bus and hurt the children, but it could've been avoided," Dinwiddie County Commonwealth's Attorney Ann Baskervill told the court. "She has no business driving and I think she knows that."

Moss' bus overturned on Ferndale Road in January.

Baskervill then asked Judge Gravatt to permanently suspend Moss' license.

Instead, the judge imposed a $500 fine and suspended Moss' license for 30 days.

"It really tears her up about what happened," Chappell said. "She’s just immensely sorry that happened."

Sarah Lefner was one of several parents inside the courtroom when they heard the outcome.

"I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that her license is not permanently suspended," Lefner said. "This woman does not deserve to come back after 30 days. This is her second bus accident."

Moss was previously charged with reckless driving for a 2013 bus crash, but those charges were later dismissed.

A Dinwiddie school spokesperson confirmed in January that Moss was on administrative leave and would be until the investigation into the single-vehicle crash was completed.

The spokesperson said Moss will only come back pending outcome of investigation.

In court, Moss told the judge that Dinwiddie Director of Transportation Edward Tucker has allowed her to fill-in as an aide on the special needs busses when another aide would call out.

Moss testified that she cares for her two grandchildren and an 84-year-old ailing mother.

WTVR CBS 6 has reached out to Dinwiddie Schools about Moss' employment status after her conviction.

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