School bus and train crash in Rockingham County with minor injuries

Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021 (10:40 am) HARRISONBURG – Virginia State Police Trooper S. Craig is investigating a crash involving a school bus and a train in Rockingham County. The crash occurred November 17, 2021, at 3:30 p.m. along Route 649 (Island Ford Rd) near the intersection of Route 340 (S. E. Side Hwy).  

A Rockingham County Public School bus was traveling east on Rt. 649 when it stopped at a stop sign, with the rear of the bus partially hanging over the nearby train tracks. The railroad crossing arms descended and the rear of the bus was struck by a Norfolk Southern freight train. The train was unable to stop in time.

The driver of the bus, James A. Kite, 70, of Elkton, Va., was not injured in the crash. Kite was wearing a seatbelt.

Four children on the bus suffered minor injuries in the crash and were transported to Sentara RMH for treatment. A total of 16 children were on the bus at the time of the crash.

The conductor and engineer were the only occupants on the train. Neither were injured in the crash.    

Kite was charged with failure to obey a traffic control device/railroad crossing sign.

The crash remains under investigation.

Photos and information from Virginia State Police.

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