DA: Hit-run driver going 70 mph before hit-run crash with school bus

James Irvin III (submitted)

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – A driver accused of a hit-and-run crash with a school bus that injured several students is facing new and more serious charges.

James P. Irvin III, 46, was charged Monday with three felony counts of aggravated assault, two felony counts of aggravated assault, 14 counts of simple assault, 20 counts of reckless endangerment, and three summary citations.

James Irvin III (submitted)

Irvin was charged with lesser counts a week after the May 17 crash on Lincoln Highway East that involved a Lancaster Mennonite school bus. The district attorney’s office said the new charges stem from an investigation that showed Irvin was going about 70 mph as he passed two oversize tractor-trailers and their escort vehicles.

As the small school bus approached in the westbound lane, Irvin returned to the eastbound lane behind the lead escort vehicle and struck it from behind, causing it to sideswipe the bus. The bus overturned after hitting one of the trucks.

A 6-year-old student was hospitalized for weeks after he was ejected and pinned underneath the bus. A 16-year-old student sustained broken vertebrae and was hospitalized for days. Twelve other students and their driver were treated for minor injuries.

Witnesses told investigators that before the crash, Irvin was in a right turning lane at the Route 896 intersection, but instead of turning, he sped straight through the intersection and began passing vehicles.

Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman has said Irvin was driving with a suspended license and apparently had been doing so since 2004.

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