EVANS CITY — The driver of a Butler Area Rural Transit bus that was hit by a train April 26 has been charged in connection with the deaths of two passengers and injuries to eight others on the bus.
Driver Frank Schaffner, 59, of Butler was charged today with homicide by vehicle, aggravated assault by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter, recklessly endangering another person, reckless driving and vehicles required to stop at railroad crossings.
According to a police statement to District Judge Wayne Seibel to support the charges, a video taken from the bus showed that Schaffner crossed the tracks before the crash to pick up a passenger and failed to stop before crossing the tracks and did not look both ways before crossing. The video, according to the police statement, also showed that Schaffner then crossed the tracks for a second time, this time also not stopping before crossing.
Despite warnings from his passengers of an approaching train, Schaffner did not slow down and crossed the tracks without first checking to see if a train was coming, according to the statement.
The charges, filed by Evans City police Chief Joe McCombs, first were approved by county District Attorney Richard Goldinger.