DC Council members take aim at bus company after driver charged with DWI crashes during field trip

Two D.C. Council members are asking that D.C. Public Schools do more to block dealings with a company that hired a bus driver with a problematic record.

This is part of continuing efforts to prevent a repeat of an incident in late October, when a charter bus driver veered off the road and crashed in Fairfax County, Virginia, while transporting elementary students back from a trip to a pumpkin patch.

In a letter to D.C. Public Schools, Council members Christina Henderson and Mary Cheh say it’s not enough to stop using the company that employed the person who drove children while intoxicated: 48-year-old Troy Reynolds of Oxon Hill, Maryland.

They are asking Chancellor Lewis Ferebee to add Rome Charters to the list of excluded parties to help make sure other city agencies don’t unknowingly contract with the company and encounter similar problems.

While acknowledging the nationwide bus driver shortage, the letter says that’s no excuse to keep contracting with a company that employs and uses drivers with problem-riddled performance records.

The investigation after the Oct. 27 crash revealed that Reynolds’ license was revoked in Virginia after a DUI charge and his license was suspended in Maryland. It turns out other drivers on the trip didn’t have proper licenses to operate buses either.

The letter also lists several questions for the chancellor including whether DCPS asks transportation vendors to provide license verification for all drivers before the school district signs off on each trip.

Henderson and Cheh are requesting answers to their letter and other questions by Wednesday, Nov. 9.

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