- The Washington Times - Monday, March 12, 2007

A Montgomery County transit bus driver was charged in connection with an accident with a Metrobus yesterday morning that injured more than 30 people.

The crash — one of two serious accidents yesterday in the county — occurred about 8:10 a.m. at a passenger stop on eastbound Veirs Mill Road near Randolph Road in Wheaton. Authorities said the Metrobus was rear-ended by the RideOn bus. The RideOn driver, Martin Luther Mayne, 41, of Frederick, Md., was charged with failure to control speed to avoid a collision.

The victims were taken to nearby hospitals with nonlife-threatening injuries.

The RideOn mass-transit system has about 350 buses. From roughly 2000 to 2004, RideOn buses were involved in average of 154 preventable collisions a year, or 1.6 collisions per 100,000 miles, a county spokeswoman said.

Metrobuses have been involved in a number of serious accidents this year. Four pedestrians have been killed in incidents involving the buses, prompting the agency’s general manager to implement mandatory safety training for drivers.

The crash occurred along a residential corridor lined with bus stops shared by the Metro Bus system and RideOn. The speed limit is 40 mph, and buses must come to a stop in the road to pick up and drop off passengers.

“This is a main thoroughfare,” said John Williams, 69, of Northwest, as he waited at a bus stop. “There’s a lot of blind spots.” The accident closed Veirs Mill to traffic for most of the morning rush hour.

A second crash yesterday morning in the county left one man critically injured and knocked over a Potomac Electric Power Company pole, shutting off power to about 1,300 residents and businesses.

The accident occurred about 9 a.m. on River Road when a 36-year-old Boyds man going south in a black 1997 Infiniti crossed the center line and collided with a Mack flatbed truck, driven by a 48-year-old Harper’s Ferry, W.Va., man, authorities said.

The Infiniti spun around and collided with a silver-colored Infiniti, driven by a 33-year-old Boyds man.

The man was trapped inside the black Infiniti about 15 minutes. An orthopedic surgeon and a nurse on their way to work stopped to help.

A Medivac helicopter transported the man to Baltimore Shock Trauma Center, where he was in critical condition last night.

The drivers of the silver Infiniti and the Mack truck were taken to Shady Grove Hospital with minor injuries.

Pepco spokesman Bob Dobkin said crews were working through the night to restore power.

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