The driver of a Baltimore school bus that collided head-on with a city transit bus, killing six people and injuring 11 others, had a record of previous crashes, had been suffering from seizures, lacked a valid driver’s license, and was speeding, federal crash investigators said.
Driver Glen Chappell, who was among those killed in the crash, did not file his medical certificate allowing him to drive a school bus with the Maryland Vehicle Administration, which means he was operating the school bus illegally on Nov. 1, the day of the crash.
Mr. Chappell was employed by AA Affordable Transportation, which Baltimore City Public Schools contracted to provide school buses and drivers.
Mr. Chappell was about to pick up the first student on his route when he lost control of the school bus, rammed the back of a Ford Mustang and struck a cement pillar before swerving into the wrong lane, where his bus collided with the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) bus.
The five other fatalities all occurred on the MTA bus, including the MTA bus driver.
According to CBS News Baltimore, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is investigating the crash, found evidence of past health problems and crashes, although whether they’re connected remains unclear.
“Incident reports referencing Chappell’s previous crashes and other problematic issues said Chappell had ‘seizure-like episodes,’ and had a seizure just a week before the Nov. 1 crash,” CBS News Baltimore reported.
Further, “Chappell’s wife told investigators after an earlier crash that he had been taking medication for seizures when he got into an accident two years ago.”
Chappell had been driving buses since 2008. He began working for AA Affordable in 2014, but took a break between April and August of this year, during which time he drove for other bus companies.
AA Affordable Transportation offered its condolences to those who lost loved ones or were injured in the crash. The company said it is grieving the loss of Mr. Chappell and wishing a quick recovery to the aide who was in the bus with him at the time of the crash. It also said it is fully cooperating with the police investigation.