New charges against driver involved in school bus hit and run in Lancaster County

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James P. Irvin III

LANCASTER, PA. — Additional charges, including more serious counts, have been filed against a Lancaster driver charged with causing – then fleeing the scene of – a multi-vehicle crash in May that injured numerous students.
On Monday afternoon, East Lampeter Township police filed the new charges against 46-year-old James P. Irvin III.
Irvin already was charged with numerous counts of hit-and-run regarding the May 17 crash on Lincoln Highway East (Route 30), near Route 896.
A school bus tipped in the crash, causing injuries to 14 students on board, including two children who were seriously hurt.

East Lampeter Township police Officer Bryan Kondras filed Monday felony counts of aggravated assault and aggravated assault by vehicle and related, lesser charges.

Assistant District Attorney Kevin McGarry approved the filing of the charges.

Irvin was charged a week after the crash, after information surfaced about the vehicle that fled – a white Chevy Malibu – and the driver. Irvin contacted police through an attorney.

The new charges were filed after police, through further investigation and a re-creation of the crash, determined Irvin’s actions prior to and after the collision.

Witnesses reported the Malibu was traveling east on Route 30 and was in a right turning lane (at the Route 896 intersection), but instead of turning, sped straight through the intersection, passing vehicles, including an oversized load tractor-trailer. A second oversized load rig and escort vehicle were just ahead of the first set.

The Malibu was “flying,” according to one witness, who reported the Malibu passed from the right turn lane, across the eastbound lane and center turn-only lane, and into the westbound lane, where the school bus approached from.

The Malibu veered back toward the east lane, striking an escort vehicle, which triggered the crash.

The investigation and re-creation of the crash showed Irvin was driving about 70 mph just before the impact. A long skid mark showed Irvin braked hard just prior to impact; the Malibu’s speed reduced an estimated 40 mph in that braking period.

A school bus carrying Lancaster Mennonite School students tipped. One student was pinned under the bus.

The aggravated assault charges regard that student and a second student who sustained serious injuries and were hospitalized for days.

Irvin’s driving showed a “sustained recklessness (and) extreme indifference to the value of human life,” according to charging documents. That display of indifference continued as Irvin fled the scene of the crash at a high rate of speed.

The new charges filed Monday were:

– 3 counts of aggravated assault

– 2 counts of aggravated assault by vehicle

– 14 counts of simple assault

– 20 counts of reckless endangerment

– 3 summary citations

Irvin is presumed innocent.

Source: Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office