Bus driver in fatal Athens crash pleads not guilty

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The driver involved in January’s fatal Athens ISD bus crash plead not guilty on Wednesday morning during his arraignment, according to his defense attorney Brian Schmidt.

John Stevens, 78, has been indicted on charges of criminally negligent homicide and injury to a child causing serious bodily injury.

He had bond set at $10,000 and was released after his arrest.

Stevens was driving on Friday, January 25 with two children onboard when the bus collided with a Union Pacific train.

According to the investigation report, Stevens came to a stop, but continued across the tracks.

The train pushed the bus one quarter of a mile before coming to a stop.

13-year-old Christopher Bonilla was killed when he was ejected from the bus. 9-year-old Joselyne Torres was injured.

Stevens was shown support by the community after the crash, with many saying he was a victim as well.

Athens residents took him food, and students launched a letter-writing campaign to show their support.

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