Man driving van that struck school bus, killing 1, is criminally charged

Northwestern Local Schools bus had 52 students and one driver aboard at the time of the crash.

SPRINGFIELD — The driver of a minivan that struck a Northwestern Schools bus — causing the death of one child and dozens more injuries when it flipped over Tuesday morning — has been criminally charged.

Hermanio Joseph, 35, is charged with fourth-degree felony vehicular homicide for negligently causing a death while operating a motor vehicle, according to court records. Joseph was driving a 2010 Honda Odyssey at about 8:15 a.m. in the 4100 block of Troy Road (Ohio 41) at Lawrenceville near the German Twp. fire station, northwest of Springfield in Clark County when his minivan went left of the center line into the path of an oncoming school bus.

The bus driver attempted to avoid the Honda by driving onto the shoulder, but the bus still collided with the minivan.

The bus and van went off the side of the road, with the bus rolling over. One child was ejected and died on the scene, and another suffered life-threatening injuries. Dozens more children were injured and taken to area medical centers for treatment.

According to court documents, Joseph faces six to 12 months in prison and/or a $5,000 fine. He presented to law enforcement a driver’s license from Mexico, which was invalid due to his immigration status.

“The crash was a result of (Joseph) driving left of center, striking the school bus, forcing it off the roadway, down an embankment where it overturned and came to final rest,” a court document stated.

Joseph is in custody at the Clark County Jail.

The Northwestern Local Schools bus had 52 students and one driver aboard at the time of the crash.

Joseph and the passenger of the minivan were taken to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.

The school bus driver, Alfred Collier, 68, suffered minor injuries and was not taken to the hospital. Twenty-three students were taken to local hospitals, including 10 who were taken in personal vehicles by family members.

One of the injured students has serious injuries, and the other students have non-life-threatening injuries, according to OSHP.

Aiden Clark was identified in court documents as the child who died in the crash. The Ohio State Highway Patrol has not provided an update on the student with serious injuries.

Northwestern Local Schools canceled classes and events Wednesday and Thursday had grief counselors available.

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