County bus, SUV collide

January 28, 2000|By JULIE E. GREENE

A County Commuter bus blocked one lane on Wesel Boulevard for at least three hours Friday afternoon after hitting a sport utility vehicle.

Neither the drivers nor the three bus passengers were injured, according to Hagerstown City Police.

The 30-passenger bus was turning left into Valley Commons between Lowe's and Wendy's when it struck the front driver's side of the Ford Expedition, police said.

Investigating Officer Tom Langston said the driver of the dark blue Expedition claimed he had a green light while people on board the bus said the bus had a green arrow.

Langston had not charged anyone in the accident Friday.

Andrew D. Ehmer, 24, of Jefferson Street, was heading south on Wesel Boulevard in the Expedition, a rental car from Enterprise-Rent-A-Car, around 2:30 p.m. when the accident occurred, police said. Ehmer was wearing his seat belt.


A damage estimate for the Expedition, which blew both air bags and had a flat front left tire as well as other impact damage, was not available.

The manager at the Enterprise Rent-A-Car office on Dual Highway had no comment about the accident.

The bus driver, Sherry J. Bowers, 62, of Surrey Avenue, has been a driver with the County Commuter since 1979 when she started part time, according to police and Kevin Cerrone, Washington County's director of public transportation. She has been a full-time driver for 13 years, Cerrone said.

Officials with the Washington County Human Resources Department would not say whether Bowers had been involved in any other accidents driving a County Commuter and referred questions to County Attorney Richard Douglas.

Douglas could not be reached for comment.

Cerrone said the bus would be inspected and, if there was no significant damage, it could return to the road as soon as Saturday. The bus appeared to have minimal damage with a bent front bumper.

The 440 bus had just come from Kmart and was on its way to Wal-Mart, the Valley Mall, downtown Hagerstown and Long Meadow Shopping Center, Cerrone said.

The three bus passengers were picked up by the next bus on that 90-minute route, Cerrone said. A bus arrives at the Valley Commons stop every 30 minutes, he said.

Cerrone said the last accident involving a County Commuter that he could recall happened late last year when a bus clipped the door of a car after it was opened in the bus' path on West Washington Street in front of the Washington County Administration Building.

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