Superintendent: driver charged with DUI will never operate school bus again


MOUNT ZION, WV (WOAY) – New details have been released about a Calhoun County bus crash that sent 19 children to the hospital and resulted in DUI charges for the bus driver.

In a video statement released today, Calhoun County School Superintendent Michael Fitzwater confirmed that three students are still in hospital and recovering from their injuries.

Fitzwater did not specify what the injuries were, but the criminal complaint indicated that at least one of the children had a concussion and another had a vertebrae fracture.

The other sixteen students have been released from two other area hospitals. All of the children on the bus were in the 11- 18 age range.

The driver, Jeffrey Brannon, is facing multiple DUI and child neglect charges. Two tests showed that his blood alcohol was up to twice the legal limit.

Brannon is 54 years old.

The crash happened at around 5:50 p.m. on March 4 along Route 16 in Mount Zion in Calhoun County.

The bus rolled over in the middle of the road, and police believe that Brannon overcorrected after losing control of the bus on the right side of the road.

Brannon was also aggressive to troopers, according to the criminal complaint.

The superintendent said the school is dealing with the driver but can not release details about personnel matters. However, Brannon will never get behind the wheel of a West Virginia school bus again.

“We assure the community that all applicable laws will be followed and we are cooperating with the West Virginia Department of Education to ensure Mr. Brannon never again operates a school bus for Calhoun County or any other school system,” Fitzwater said in a statement Tuesday.

Calhoun County schools will reopen tomorrow, and there will be support staff available to help students if they need it.

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