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NTSB: School bus driver involved in 12 vehicle incidents before deadly crash

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Posted at 11:18 AM, Dec 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-08 06:28:05-05

The school bus driver involved in a deadly crash that killed six people on Nov. 1 had a history of seizures and had been involved in 12 crashes over the last five years, according to a new report from the National Transportation Safety Board.

A preliminary report said paramedics were called to AAAfordable, the company that operated the bus, just a week before the crash after witnesses said the driver was experiencing a seizure.

Glenn R. Chappell, 67, had been a driver for several school bus companies since 2008.

RELATED: 6 confirmed dead after MTA, school bus crash in southwest Baltimore

At 6:30 a.m., the school bus drove eastbound through the intersection at Frederick Avenue and Loudon Street and crashed into the back of a Ford Mustang. The driver of the Mustang hit a curb and ran into a brick wall and a metal fence. The school bus kept going on Frederick Avenue, crossed into the westbound lane and hit an MTA bus on its driver's side on Frederick Avenue.

The report said surveillance video indicated the school bus was traveling approximately 57 miles per hour before hitting the Ford Mustang. The posted speed limit was 30 miles per hour. 

A teacher’s aide on the bus at the time of the crash told investigators that she asked Chappell what happened after he hit the Mustang, but he didn’t respond. “The school bus then struck the transit bus,” according to the report.

Thirteen passengers and a 33-year-old bus driver were aboard the MTA bus at the time of the crash. Both bus drivers and four MTA passengers were killed.

Seven MTA passengers were seriously injured. Two other MTA passengers, the teacher’s aide aboard the school bus and the driver of the Ford Mustang suffered minor injuries.

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh released a statement Wednesday afternoon, saying she is "very concerned about the way bus drivers are cleared for duty." 

"Upon reading the preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) about the accident on Frederick Avenue last month, I am very concerned about the way bus drivers are cleared for duty," Pugh said. "We entrust the lives of our children to these public servants so we need to make sure they are up to the task. My thoughts remain with the families of those involved and on the corrective actions to be taken to ensure traffic safety on our roads."

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