Judge rules bus driver charged with striking 2 women in DC can drive again

WASHINGTON — The driver of a bus that struck and killed two women visiting D.C. in December has been allowed to get behind the wheel again.

At a status hearing Friday morning, a judge ruled Gerard James, 45, of Baltimore, can start driving his personal vehicle again.

The judge granted his request only on the condition that his mobile devices be completely turned off while he’s driving. Prosecutors did not object to the defense request, and defense lawyers accepted the condition imposed by the judge.

Prosecutors allege that James was distracted and using his phone as he was trying to make a left turn from northbound 7th Street onto Pennsylvania Avenue in Northwest D.C.

Monica Carlson, 61, the mayor of Skagway, Alaska, and her mother, 85-year-old Cora Adams of Elbe, Washington, were walking in the crosswalk at the time and were hit by the bus. They both later died.

James is facing charges of involuntary manslaughter. His preliminary hearing, originally set for Friday, was pushed back to March 15.

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