Pre-trial rescheduled for man charged in fatal Athens school bus crash

Athens bus dirver has pre-trial hearing
Athens bus dirver has pre-trial hearing(Henderson County Judicial records)
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 3:23 PM CST
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ATHENS, Texas (KLTV) - The trial of a bus driver charged in the death and injury of Athens ISD students was pushed back further on Wednesday.

John Stevens, 82, was the driver of an Athens ISD school bus which was involved in a crash with a train on Jan. 25, 2019 that killed one student and injured another. He is charged with negligent homicide and injury to a child. Stevens’ defense counsel argued to the judge for a reschedule as they have not been able to obtain certain information from Union Pacific.

The information from Union Pacific pertains to safety measures that may not have been taken at the railroad crossing. The judge has allowed the defense to subpoena the U.P. engineer to be at the hearing in April if the defense is unable to obtain the information they requested.

Additionally, Stevens’ attorney has been pulling forms from the Department of Transportation that are used to determine if safety measures should be put at certain railroad crossings. As of last July those forms indicate that the route in question is not a school bus route and that no school buses use that crossing. The defense wants to know who reported this to the federal government as during the deposition the engineer reported to his supervisor that there should be arms at that crossing to save lives.

The judge ultimately rescheduled the pre-trial hearing for April 12 at 1:30 p.m., with the trial moved to October 16 at 8:30 a.m.


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