Bus driver won't be charged following fatal crash


by Eric Kane


Posted on November 25, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 26 at 1:22 AM

Fatal car-school bus crash

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VIRGINIA BEACH—Over a month after Christian Montes, 27, died after getting run over by a school bus, the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney office announced it would not be filing any charges against the bus driver.

"Involuntary manslaughter is very, very specific, there has to be evidence of callous reckless disregard for human life and that just wasn't there in this case," said Harvey Bryant, the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney.

 On Monday, Bryant held a meeting out of courtesy to inform Montes’ family he would not be pursuing charges.

Gary Byler, Montes’ family’s attorney, says he was surprised and confused by Bryant’s decision.

"I can tell you right now we have 20 or 30 cases where people are stopped on the interstate and rear ended and the standard operating procedure is the person that hits them is given a ticket," said Byler.

Early in the morning on October 23rd, Montes’ 1995 Ford Escort was disabled in the middle of Holland Road near Independence Blvd, when a bus full of kids hit it at 45 miles per hour, the legal speed limit, according to the VB Police Crash Report obtained by 13News Now.     

Montes was standing outside of his car when the bus ran over him, crushing his chest.            

Forensic experts could not determine if Montes’ car lights were on, Bryant said.

Bryant says surveillance video proves the driver was not distracted and there was no evidence of a criminal act.

"I have to decide what is correct under the law. I'm not going to abuse the criminal process just to please some plaint personal injury attorney," said Bryant.

Byler says the driver should have been able to see the car and know how to stop the bus in time.          

"We will be pursuing a civil action. We hope that the Virginia Beach School Board will do the right thing and that is to compensate the Montes family for this tragic loss," said Byler.

13News Now was unable to reach the bus driver for comment.

Montes is survived by his wife and two young children.