Bus driver faces reckless driving charge after deadly crash
SOUTHAMPTON COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) — A trip to map out their future ends in tragedy for a group of teenagers from North Carolina on their way to Virginia.
They were supposed to be visiting a college campus, but ended up in a hospital with one of their chaperones dead.
A bus carrying eight passengers from North Carolina to Virginia was more than two hours into its trip on Route 58 eastbound when the massive vehicle suddenly flipped on its side a little after 7 a.m. Friday.
The charter was travelling through the small town of Capron, between Franklin and Emporia, when the crash happened.
“Apparently the driver lost control when the wheels touched the right hand side of the shoulder. Six of the passengers were juveniles,” Virginia State Trooper, Sgt. Alan Williams said.
The eight unsuspecting passengers were heading to Hampton University for an open house when their two hundred mile trip was cut short.
Doval Emmanuel Watson of Chapel Hill, N.C., one of two chaperones who was traveling with his wife, Teresa Watson, was killed in the wreck.
“My understanding is that an adult female passenger was ejected from the bus,” Sgt. Williams said. “The juveniles weren’t claiming injury, but they were taken to the hospital just to make sure they’re ok.”
Teresa Watson, who helps students enter college, was leading the trip. She was seriously hurt when her arm was pinned under the bus and is recovering at Norfolk General Hospital. Two of her children attend Hampton University.
The students on the bus were welcomed inside the home where the bus crashed and waited for rescuers who arrived minutes later.
David C. Davis, who lives around the corner from the crash site, said it has been years since a wreck of this size happened in his small town.
“I woke up this morning and I heard the ambulance and looked out the window,” Davis said. “I had come over here and found out it had flipped over. That is bad. I feel bad for the family.”
The bus belongs to Horizon Coach Lines, which has 16 locations across the country, including four in North Carolina, according to the company’s website. The site also states Horizon is the third largest motor coach company in the nation with an unparalleled safety record.
Not long after crash the driver 62-year-old Larry Brooks was charged with reckless driving.