Virginia State Police have determined that speed was a factor in the November 29 motorcoach accident by an Abbott Trailways driver in North Chesterfield County.
The bus, driven by Thomas B. Chidester of Salem, was en route to the University of Virginia around 7:15pm when the driver lost control on the curve of a ramp and the bus overturned onto its side, police say. Chidester was charged with reckless driving.
At the time of the crash, 50 passengers—students reportedly returning to UVA, Virginia Tech and Radford after Thanksgiving break—and the driver were on board. About 34 of the passengers and the driver were taken to six Richmond-area hospitals for minor injuries and one passenger is still being treated for serious injuries, according to state police.
According to UVA spokesperson Anthony de Bruyn, the university has been given no information that would indicate that UVA students were on the bus. Dan Ronan, a spokesperson for the American Bus Association, confirms this statement and says, “It’s possible, but we haven’t been able to determine that.”
Abbott Trailways is a charter company based in Roanoke that handles student travel, field trips, sports teams, churches, military reunions and other groups.