MYSTERY SOLVED: Church helps police track down accused ‘hit and run’ bus driver
RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – The school bus that hit two cars parked along Edgewood Ave. in Richmond and then drove away is owned and operated by the ROC Church (Richmond Outreach Center), according to Richmond Police. Police said the bus in question is an old Chesterfield County school bus.
Police identified the bus driver as Phillip Bly, 29, of Mandalay Drive in Richmond. Bly was charged with misdemeanor hit and run to unattended property.
CBS 6 reporter Jon Burkett obtained video Tuesday night of a school bus as it passed the BP gas station at the intersection of Brookland Park Boulevard and Chamberlayne Avenue. It was that video that helped solve the school bus mystery.
“One of our employees saw the CBS 6 news story regarding a bus that sideswiped two vehicles in the Northside of Richmond,” a ROC spokesperson wrote in an email to CBS 6. “Upon discovering that we did in fact have a yellow bus in the area Saturday night, taking families home from our weekly church service, we immediately called the Richmond City Police’s non-emergency number and reported that the mystery bus might have been one of our vehicles.”
In the statement the ROC said its driver was not aware he’d hit any vehicles.
“We are proactively and fully cooperating with the police on this investigation and are extremely sorry for any damage that might have been done by our bus and driver,” the statement continued. “All of our drivers have been trained about the proper, legal procedures to take if they are involved in an accident.”
The video of the bus driving by the gas station was taken about 9:19 p.m. Saturday. One of the people whose car was damaged said his car was hit two or three minutes later.
“I’ve got fender damage. It’s going to cost a couple thousand dollars,” Mike Clifford said about the damage to his vehicle.
The gas station is located less than one mile from Edgewood Avenue.
In earlier reports, school spokespeople in both Richmond and Henrico said their school buses were all accounted for at the time of the incident.