A school bus driver has been virtually cleared of blame for a collision with a car at Philadelphia Street and South Ben Franklin Road more than two months ago.
At hearings Thursday before District Judge Guy Haberl, in Indiana, a red-light traffic ticket filed against bus driver James Grube was replaced with a different charge, and a DUI charge against the car driver, Thomas Grasty, was held over for adjudication in Indiana County Common Pleas Court.
According to state police, the car and bus traveling in opposite directions on Philadelphia Street collided on June 4 when they turned at nearly the same moment to travel south on South Ben Franklin Road.
Heading inbound toward Indiana, the Indiana Area School District bus driven by Grube, 59, of Homer City, turned right into the intersection about 4:50 p.m.
Grasty, 27, of Garnet Valley, Delaware County, turned his car left as he passed Ben Franklin Elementary School.
The bus hit the passenger side of the car and the vehicles came to a halt off the corner of the roads closest to the school. Passing motorists helped to free Grasty from his wrecked car. He was sent by ambulance to Indiana Regional Medical Center, and then was transferred by helicopter to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.
Grube was not reported to be injured.
The charges were filed July 17 following an extensive investigation of the wreck. Troopers charged both with running a red light but also charged Grasty with driving under the influence and careless driving.
Court records reflecting the outcome of the drivers’ hearings in court show a charge of “failure to stop at red signal” against Grube was settled as “guilty of a lesser charge.”
Being found guilty to “Violations of Title” instead, Grube was assessed $150.50 in fines and court costs.
Haberl, meanwhile, ordered Grasty to face possible trial on counts of driving under the influence, general impairment and driving under the influence of a controlled substance, impaired ability, both misdemeanors, plus summary traffic infractions of failure to stop at a red signal and careless driving.
Both drivers were traveling alone at the time of the crash.