Accident results in termination

Published 10:08 am Wednesday, November 21, 2018

An accident between a dump truck and a school bus from Keston Forest School Nov. 13 resulted in seven being taken to the hospital, including six children and the school bus driver, and the driver of the dump truck being no longer employed with his company.

The accident occurred around 3:30 p.m. in the area of Route 40 and Fletcher Chapel Road in Lunenburg County. “A Kenston Forest School bus and truck were traveling south on Route 40,” Corinne Geller with Virginia State Police said in a report Tuesday evening. “As it slowed to make a left turn onto Fletcher Chapel Road, the truck failed to stop in time and struck the rear of the bus. The impact of the crash caused the bus to spin around and overturn onto its side.”

“There were a total of 13 elementary school-aged student passengers on the bus,” Geller said. “Five students were transported by ambulance to VCU Health Community Hospital in South Hill for treatment of minor injuries. The bus driver was driven by a passenger vehicle to the hospital as a precautionary measure.”

Geller said the driver of the truck, John R. Grizzard, 38, of Emporia, was charged with failure to maintain control of his vehicle. Grizzard was not injured in the crash. His truck was transporting a dumpster, which remained intact in the crash.

Mary O’Brien with Meridian Waste, the company that bought CFS last year, provided a statement following the accident and confirmed that the driver was an employee with CFS.

“Our primary concern is the safety and well-being of all involved,” the statement cited. “Five students were released after hospital observations and one has been admitted for further medical care. The company was cited for fault by the local authorities and the proper disciplinary actions are being implemented.”

O’Brien confirmed Saturday that Grizzard, the driver charged, is no longer employed with the company.

CFS, which has a landfill in Lunenburg, has since September been transporting approximately 300 tons per day from its landfill in Petersburg to its landfill in Lunenburg as the Petersburg landfill improves its operations.

The Tri-City landfill in Petersburg recently was the subject of a lawsuit between the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring for repeated violations that included the landfill exceeding the permitted waste pile height, failure to properly maintain its stormwater control system, failure to adequately cover exposed waste, failure to maintain the required amount of extra waste cover, and failure to correct the violations in a timely manner even after being repeatedly notified.

Paul Zanowski, headmaster of Kenston Forest School, said in a statement Wednesday, Nov. 14, that there were six children and a bus driver who were transported to the hospital.

Zanowski said the school bus was the school’s Kenbridge bus. Zanowski said five of the students and the bus driver were discharged from the hospital and came home the night of the accident. One student stayed at the hospital for further examination. Zanowski confirmed Tuesday that all of the students have returned home.

“Friends, tonight please hug your children a little tighter, and please offer prayers of healing,” Zanowski said in the Nov. 14 statement.