- The Washington Times - Monday, February 6, 2006

A veteran Metro bus driver from Prince George’s County was charged with reckless driving yesterday after his bus crashed into a Fairfax County public school bus that was taking special-education students to school.

Police said Wilbur H. Lucas Jr., 45, of Springdale, crossed the double yellow line on Braddock Road, just north of Interstate 66, near Newton Patent Drive in Centreville at about 7 a.m. when the collision occurred.

Police said the Metro bus slammed into the driver’s side of the school bus, injuring the two drivers, an aide and a student. The school bus was headed to Joyce Kilmer Middle School in Vienna, Va.

“The Metrobus crossed over the double yellow line, striking the school bus,” said Officer Shelley Broderick, a county police spokeswoman.

The Metro bus was traveling west on Braddock Road, and the school bus was heading east.

“All of the injuries are non-life-threatening, which is amazing, given the damage to the vehicles,” Officer Broderick said.

A 26-year-old Fairfax County public-school driver from the Manassas area became trapped in the school bus.

Fairfax County rescue workers used the Jaws of Life to remove the woman from the school bus. She was flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital

An 8-year-old boy student, an a 67-year-old female aide and Mr. Lucas were taken to Inova Fair Oaks Hospital.

A female passenger on the Metro bus declined medical treatment. Two other students on the school bus were not injured.

Mr. Lucas was released from the hospital yesterday afternoon.

“The good thing is, nobody was killed,” said Paul Regnier, a spokesman for Fairfax County public schools.

Mr. Lucas will not return to his job until an investigation by Metro officials is complete, said Cathy Asato, a Metro spokeswoman.

“The accident is still under investigation. We need to look at his overall driving record. We’ll also want to look at the police report and interview the supervisor who went to the scene,” Miss Asato said.

“While all these things are taking place, the driver won’t be driving,” she said.

Miss Asato said that Mr. Lucas had been employed with Metro since February 1986. Mr. Lucas drove the 12-D Metro bus route.

She declined to discuss his record, calling it a personnel matter.

After the crash, Braddock Road was closed for several hours, while rescue crews, police, ambulances and tow trucks cleared the site.

Mr. Regnier said that Kilmer officials were notified about the accident and that they informed parents of the children who were on the bus.

The school system’s transportation department dispatched other buses to complete the route and pick up other students.

• This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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