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Loudoun County Public Schools misrepresents details of Lovettsville bus crash

An onlooker snapped this photo following the incident. Courtesy Photo
A Loudoun County Sheriff's Office crash report contradicts the details provided by Loudoun County Public Schools regarding a collision involving an LCPS bus in Lovettsville last week.

On May 9, an LCPS bus and a Ford truck collided near 38874 Ash George Road in Lovettsville.

The school system that day reported the bus was “at a full stop” during the incident.

“Early this morning an SUV attempted to pass one of our buses on a narrow road. They were going in opposite directions,” LCPS spokesman Wayde Byard said roughly eight hours after the crash. “The bus was at a full stop. Protocol is that the smaller vehicle backs up. This time, the SUV tried to squeeze by. Its mirror scraped the side of the bus and it ended up with two wheels on the roadway, two off. There were no injuries and only minor vehicle damage.”

But a Loudoun County Sheriff's Office crash report states both vehicles were moving.

Additionally, the Times-Mirror has learned the bus driver was involved in a crash the week prior, although Byard said the driver was not found at fault in that incident. LCPS will not disclose the name of the driver.

The driver of the Ford, Mark Roby, contacted both Byard and the Times-Mirror to give his account of the situation and correct the record.

Roby said the bus was moving slowly and in the center of the road. Roby said he veered as far right as he could in an attempt to avoid a collision.

According to the crash description from the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office, Roby said he "approached a hill crest going eastbound and observed a school bus doing the same, but going westbound.”

The report continued: Roby “stated the road was very narrow and tried to move over as much as possible, but the bus mirror swiped the driver back side of his truck bed.”

According to the report, both Roby and the bus driver gave the same account of the incident, which led to questions about Byard's initial account.

When the Times-Mirror followed up on the incident Friday, Byard said, “I think the Sheriff's Office would be the best place to get an impartial read on this accident.”

Then, on Monday, Byard said, “Here is what I will say. In response to a query from the Loudoun Times-Mirror, the school division consulted with the school division’s transportation department and law enforcement to give as accurate and timely a response as possible,” Byard said.

The school system made no attempt to correct the record or their account of the crash until contacted by the Times-Mirror.

Comments


This could be one of two things. Either LCPS is attempting to protect the bus driver and their staff be saying the bus was at a standstill. This would help keep their reputation clean (if people believed their account), as it would not seem like they hired an unsafe driver. On the other hand, it could just be a simple mistake by the LCPS executives. This, however, seems unlikely as their response to the media about the incident would have been well researched and developed before hand. Despite all this, LCPS needs to move on from this, as the accident itself was itself, an accident.


It looks like a yellow school bus to me, I just don’t see what the rest of you do.


“Jeanne, that’s not a Ford truck?  Maybe my eyes are deceiving me…..Jeanne, what model of vehicle do you think it was?”

I said nothing about the make or model of the truck in my comments. I said it wasn’t a flatbed truck, and it isn’t, as confirmed by John A. Look it up.

“A flatbed truck (or flatbed lorry in British English) is a type of truck which can be either articulated or rigid. As the name suggests, its bodywork is just an entirely flat, level ‘bed’ with no sides or roof. This allows for quick and easy loading of goods, and consequently they are used to transport heavy loads that are not delicate or vulnerable to rain, and also for abnormal loads that require more space than is available on a closed body.”

“no sides or roof…...”


I confused a flatbed industrial truck with a typical truck, my mistake. I was simply pointing out that LCPS is loose with the details. It is definitely not an SUV as Byard stated.


That’s a Ford F-150 pickup truck. Definitely not a flatbed or SUV.


Jeanne, that’s not a Ford truck?  Maybe my eyes are deceiving me.

The driver noted the “driver back side of his truck bed” was swiped.  The article mentions Ford truck. 

It appears to me the flatbed truck might have a cover on top (thin black lining at the top of the tailgate).  I would guess an F-150.

Can anyone verify the make of the truck?  Jeanne, what model of vehicle do you think it was?


“The fact that Byard called what is obviously a flatbed truck an “SUV” in his account indicates he makes no attempt whatsever to verify any of the information he puts out on behalf of LCPS.

@Virginia SGP:  It isn’t a “flatbed truck”. Not even close.

So who’s at fault here? Who’s going to be charted? It seems to me that both drivers should have just stopped.


prescient


Don’t always agree with what you say SGP, but, definitely look forward to your posts.  Go to see you back in the game.


Speaking of Brian/SGP, where is he? I figured he would have posted 4 paragraphs about this situation by now.


If you look at the picture, the front of the bus appears to be all the way to the right (see the grass/dirt beside the front tire).  The back of the bus appears to be more centered in the road. This is consistent with Roby’s account that the bus was originally in the middle of the roadway since the back of any vehicle changes its position more slowly when turning.

Also, if the truck were not tilted, there would be about a 1-ft gap between the two vehicles.

Just looking solely at the picture, it appears that once the front of their vehicles passed so close and the road narrowed, both drivers attempted to move to their right.  The bus angled to the side of the road but remained within the roadway.  The truck driver drove off the road to make room and as his right tires raised, his truck tilted enough to make contact with the bus.

Journalists, unlike PIOs, are required to verify their stories.  The fact that Byard called what is obviously a flatbed truck an “SUV” in his account indicates he makes no attempt whatsoever to verify any of the information he puts out on behalf of LCPS.


If LCPS will lie about stupid stuff, they will lie about anything.  And they do.


“Obfuscation” is putting it very mildly. The whole system is a pack of liars from former super
Edgar “Hatrack”, as he is known in this household,
on down. When we Loudoun County elect a board that will do a complete and honest housecleaning of such employees or must we continue to expect things to be done in the “Washington Way”?


You know, this is the kind of thing that’ll make you think twice about whether folks like our friend Brian are the loons they’re made out to be.


Point taken to heart, Lawman.


Yeah, and they don’t discriminate against minority teacher applicants either.  Know how we know, because they said so.


Just another story about how LCPS arranges that facts.  So glad this guy contacted the Loudoun Times to set the story straight.


It is interesting because LCPS has a long history of obfuscation.  A bus driver involved in 2 accidents is a week is a (small) story in itself.  This is typical of LCPS.  It puts out information that make it look better than it is.


mkay : )


As much as I enjoy taking shots at the LCPS staff, this story doesn’t sound like much.  The accident was not a big deal and I doubt Byard was heavily involved in the incident.  This is not an interesting or compelling story so let’s make this the last post on it, mkay?

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