Detectives of the Crash Reconstruction Unit have concluded their investigation of the crash that occurred on Thursday, April 7 involving a Fairfax County school bus and a Fairfax County police cruiser. Detectives reviewed all evidence related to the case, which is being retained for court, to include bus video and various distance measurements. Detectives determined the bus driver’s view was obstructed prior to starting across Backlick Road. Detectives then consulted with the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney due to the crash involving two county vehicles. Subsequently, a summons was obtained for the bus driver, Linda Phillips, 58, of Alexandria, for failing to yield right-of-way at a stop sign.
(Original release April 8) Officer Involved in Vehicle Crash with School Bus
Around 12:44 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, an officer was involved in a two-vehicle crash involving a Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) bus. An investigation determined the officer, a patrol officer of the Franconia District Station, was driving a 2011 Ford Crown Victoria northbound on Backlick Road approaching Floyd Avenue. A school bus was on the eastbound side of Floyd Avenue, traveling westbound. The driver of the school bus stopped at the stop sign on Floyd Avenue, then proceeded to cross Backlick Road, in front of the police vehicle. The officer could not avoid a collision and struck the side of the school bus. The school bus continued to move forward and the rear wheels of the bus went over top of the cruiser’s hood. The bus came to rest in the roadway on the other side of Floyd Avenue.
The bus was loaded with approximately 40 students and five adults, to include the driver, a 58-year-old woman. They were returning to Mark Twain Middle School from a field trip. Two students, one adult chaperone and the officer were taken to the hospital, treated for minor injuries and later released. FCPS personnel arranged for alternate transportation to return the remaining passengers to the school.
Crash Reconstruction Detectives responded to investigate, per departmental protocol. Motors units and other patrol units also responded to the scene to assist with traffic control. At the time of the crash, the officer was responding to a report of a shoplifting nearby. It was a non-priority call; the vehicle’s emergency equipment was not activated and it does not appear the officer was driving in an expedited manner. Detectives have ruled out speed and alcohol as contributing factors to the crash; charges pending the investigation’s conclusion.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Solvers by phone at 1-866-411-TIPS/8477, e-mail at www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org or text “TIP187” plus your message to CRIMES/274637 or call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131