BALTIMORE (AP) — The driver of a Baltimore school bus that careened into a transit bus, killing six people including himself, was speeding, had a history of previous crashes and had a seizure the week before, national investigators said Wednesday.
Glenn Chappell was driving about 57 mph in a 30-mph zone — nearly twice the speed limit — when he struck a Ford Mustang from behind before colliding with an oncoming Maryland Transit Administration bus last month, according to the National Transportation Safety Board’s initial report.
Chappell was driving the school bus for AAAfordable LLC of Baltimore, which held a contract with Baltimore City Public Schools. No children were on board at the time of the crash.
The transit bus driver and four passengers were also killed. Eleven people sustained injuries.
Incident reports referencing Chappell’s previous crashes and other problematic issues said Chappell had “seizure-like episodes,” and an actual seizure just a week before the Nov. 1 crash.
In addition, while Chappell had a medical certificate allowing him to drive the school bus, he had not filed it with the Maryland Vehicle Administration, which made it illegal for him to be driving the bus, the report said.
Chappell’s wife told investigators after an earlier crash that he had been taking medication for seizures when he got into an accident two years ago.
Chappell had been driving buses since 2008. He began working for AAAfordable in 2014, but took a break between April and August of this year, during which time he drove for other bus companies.
Shawn Braxton, who was behind the wheel of the Ford Mustang, was shocked to learn that Chappell had both a history of car crashes and a known medical condition.
“That’s just crazy,” Braxton said in an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday.
“I’m upset about it, and saddened because he felt the need to continue to drive the bus even though he had a medical condition, and I’m saddened that the bus company kept him hired because he had a medical condition and they should have been monitoring him,” he said. “Some precautions could have been done to prevent everything from happening.”