LAWRENCEVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) — A man is facing a criminal charge related to a Tuesday school bus crash that left one elementary school student dead and at least 20 more injured, according to Clark County court records.
Springfield resident Hermanio Joseph, 35, was charged Wednesday with vehicular homicide in Clark County Municipal Court — a fourth-degree felony. If convicted, he could face six to 12 months in prison and/or a $5,000 fine, according to court documents.
Authorities took Joseph into custody at the Clark County Jail on Wednesday afternoon, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
Killed in the crash was Aiden Clark, with authorities saying he was ejected from the bus while on his way to the first day of school. The district, Northwestern Local Schools, canceled Thursday classes.
Residents held a memorial at the crash location Wednesday night, where balloons and stuffed animals lined the grass.
The school bus was heading west on State Route 41 about 8:12 a.m. Joseph was driving east — where he is accused of swerving left of the center line, forcing the bus driver to veer onto the shoulder to try and avoid him. When the vehicles crashed, the bus went off the road and down an embankment, flipping onto its top.
Joseph is also accused of driving without a valid license.
Of the 52 students on the bus, 26 were hospitalized in various facilities across the state, according to OSHP. Most suffered non-life-threatening injuries, but one student was taken in serious condition to a children’s hospital.
The 68-year-old bus driver suffered minor injuries and was not hospitalized. Joseph and his passenger also suffered non-life-threatening injuries.