Driver charged after bus carrying students from Chapel Hill crashes in Virginia


The charter bus was headed from Chapel Hill to Hampton, Va. when it crashed Friday morning - killing one person.

It happened just after 7 a.m. on eastbound Route 58 at Route 652 in Capron, Va. Investigators said the driver lost control, ran off the right side of the road, and overturned in a ditch.

Two passengers on the bus were ejected.

There were six teenagers, the two adult passengers, and the driver on board. Police identified the dead man as 58-year-old Doval Emmanuel Watson of Chapel Hill.

One passenger was flown to Norfolk General Hospital for treatment.

The Durham-Chapel Hill Chapter of the Hampton University Alumni Association said Watson and his wife Teresa - both of Chapel Hill - chartered the bus. They organize an annual trip for local middle and high school students to tour the Hampton University campus.

The couple served as chaperones.

The association said only two students showed up for the trip when it left from Chapel Hill Friday morning, but the Watsons offered to pick up additional students in Henderson on the way.

The association said Teresa Watson was the second passenger ejected from the bus and was airlifted to Norfolk General. She was released from the hospital Monday.

"She [Teresa Watson] was panicking and saying 'Help me. Help somebody. Try to call the police,'" said passenger Autumn Richardson.

"My daughter and Ms Daniels' daughter and son just got on their knees and starting digging to try to get her arm out," said parent Jackie Richardson.

The students on board were taken to Southampton Memorial Hospital in Franklin, Va. to be checked out. Police said they range in age from 13 to 17. Officials said the students attend East Chapel Hill High School, Carrboro High School, Vance County Early College, and Southern Vance High School.

Virginia State Police said the bus driver, 62-year-old Larry Brocks, of Raleigh, is charged with reckless driving. They said other charges could be filed when their investigation is complete. Records show the bus is owned by Horizon Coach Lines.

Hampton University issued a statement on the crash Friday afternoon:

The Hampton University community is extremely saddened to learn of the accident today involving the charter bus heading from Chapel Hill, N.C. to Hampton University for High School Day.  We mourn the loss of accident victim and Hampton University alumnus Doval E. Watson.  We pray for the recovery of the other victim of the crash.  

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