Police Issue Citations To Drivers Involved In Deadly Chesterfield School Bus Crash
CHESTERFIELD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Motor vehicle citations have been issued to the drivers in the collision of a school bus and a dump truck that killed one student and seriously injured her triplet sisters and another child.
The company that owns the dump truck also received several citations stemming from the Feb. 16 crash in Chesterfield. But no criminal charges have been brought so far in the matter, which remains under investigation by several agencies, including the National Transportation Safety Board.
Chesterfield Township police said the school bus was carrying 25 Chesterfield Elementary students and was on its way to the school when a dump truck hit the driver’s side rear of the bus at an intersection. The impact then sent the bus crashing into a pole.
Killed was 11-year-old Isabelle Tezsla, while her sisters, Sophie and Natalie, and 11-year-old Jonathan Zdybel were all hospitalized with serious injuries.
The two sisters have since been released from the hospital. Zdybel is still hospitalized in stable condition. The triplets’ father, Anthony Tezsla, is a New Jersey state police sergeant.
Seventeen other students on the bus were also hurt.
At the time of the accident, schools superintendent Ellen McHenry said that the entire school family “is sadly grieving the loss of one of our students” and had extra counselors on-hand to help students deal with the tragedy.
The Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office announced Tuesday that Chesterfield police issued a summons for failure to stop or yield to 66-year-old John Tieman of Beverly, who was driving the school bus. Investigators have said Tieman pulled ahead of the roadway stop line to get a clear view and never saw the truck coming.
Meanwhile, the state police’s commercial vehicle inspection unit issued two summonses to the dump truck driver, 38-year-old Michael Caporale of New Egypt. He was cited for failure to secure container and failure to tarp load.
Herman’s Trucking of Wrightstown, which owns the dump truck that was hauling asphalt, was cited by the state police unit for inadequate braking; exceeding gross weight (by 4,950 pounds); exceeding tire weight limit, and being over axle weight (by 13,450 pounds).
Authorities are still awaiting results of toxicology tests on the drivers and other information before deciding whether criminal charges will be filed, a determination that will be made by the county prosecutor’s office.
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