Update: Crash With School Bus Kills 1, Seriously Injures Child
No criminal charges will be filed following a horrific school bus crash that changed the lives of many Hudson Valley residents.
On Wednesday, the New Windsor Police Department concluded its investigation into the cause of the October 21, 2020 fatal three vehicle collision involving a Washingtonville Central School District bus, a commercial tree service truck and a BMW sedan.
The two-month-long investigation determined that the commercial tree service truck, operated by Ian K. Jennings, crossed over the double yellow line and entered the oncoming Eastbound lane of traffic causing the collision with the school bus and the sedan, police say.
Toxicology results from the New York State Police lab determined that alcohol and drugs were not a contributing factor in this collision, according to New Windsor police. After an accident reconstruction investigators were able to rule out excessive speed as well as any type of mechanical failure on the part of the commercial tree service truck.
Investigators also determined that Jennings was not using his cellular phone nor did he suffer any type of medical event just prior to the collision, officials say.
“As a result of our investigation, it was determined we do not have evidence to support any criminal charges in this case. It comes down to this being a case of a driver that was inattentive behind the wheel. Whether Mr. Jennings was drowsy or distracted by something in or around the vehicle he was operating we will never know. Mr. Jennings received two traffic summonses for his role in this horrific collision that unfortunately took the life of Andrew Sanchez and seriously injured a six-year old girl. In a matter of just a few seconds, so many lives were changed forever. The family and friends of Mr. Sanchez suffer his loss every day and the Washingtonville Central School District lost a very special employee," New Windsor Chief of Police Robert L. Doss stated.
Jennings, 25, of Grahamsville was cited for two violations of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law which include failure to keep right (section 1120A) and failure to wear a seatbelt (section 1229).
“I commend the Town of New Windsor Police Department and the New York State Police for their diligence and thoroughness in this investigation. The tragic consequences of this collision are no doubt most keenly felt by the family and friends of the deceased, the severely injured six-year-old girl and her family and friends. The whole community is saddened by their loss. Although there was no finding of criminal liability in this case, my office has assigned an experienced assistant district attorney to prosecute the traffic summonses which were issued," Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler stated.