On May 17, Lancaster resident James P. Irvin III caused an accident involving several vehicles when he recklessly wove between lanes in attempt to pass traffic. The accident caused a school bus to tip over, injuring the driver and 14 students. Originally, police charged him with numerous counts of hit-and-run after he fled and evaded them for a week, as well as driving with a license suspended since 2004. Now, however, investigators have finished reviewing the details of the accident and Lancaster District Attorney Craig Stedman has added over 40 new charges against Irvin.
While driving 70 mph in a white Chevy Malibu on Lincoln Highway East, Irvin used a right-turning lane to pass a pair of wide-load tractor-trailers and another vehicle that was escorting them. According to the investigators, Irvin continued to drive across the turning lanes towards the westbound lane where the school bus was approaching. In an effort to avoid colliding with the bus, Irvin cut back and instead collided with the escort vehicle, which then hit the bus, causing it to tip over. Investigators found skid marks indicating Irvin slowed his vehicle to approximately 40 mph before the accident occurred. The accident took place at the intersection of Route 30 and Route 896 where the posted speed limit is 40 mph. Afterwards, Irvin fled and hid from the police. However, less than a week later he surrendered himself before they could locate him using vehicle registration records.
After completing their investigation, Stedman added 20 counts of reckless endangerment, 14 counts of simple assault, 3 summary citations, 3 counts of aggravated assault and 2 counts of aggravated assault by vehicle to Irvin’s charges. District Judge B. Denise Commins arraigned him on Tuesday, setting his new bail at $150,000. Irvin was first held on a bail of $100,000, which he posted.
The two students who seriously injured by the bus tipping over have both been released from the hospital and are still recovering. Seven-year-old Noam Weaver, who had been ejected from the bus and pinned underneath, celebrated his birthday on May 26 while in the hospital. The charging documents against Irvin explained that prosecutors feel he showed “a sustained recklessness (and) extreme indifference to the value of human life.”