35 Injured as Bus Transporting Virginia College Students Overturns

Dozens of college students injured in Virginia bus crash 1:37

A bus full of college students overturned Sunday night in Virginia, injuring 35 people, one of them critically, authorities said.

The nature of the critically wounded patient's injuries wasn't disclosed.

IMAGE: Overturned bus in Virginia
The bus was carrying 49 passengers, many of them students from Virginia Tech and Radford universities and the University of Virginia, when it flipped Sunday night near the city of Chesterfield, Virginia. WWBT-TV

None of the 34 other injuries was believed to be life-threatening — mainly bumps, bruises and other injuries "that would be consistent with a vehicle accident" — Lt. Jason Elmore, a spokesman for Chesterfield County Fire and Emergency Medical Services, told reporters Sunday night.

The bus was carrying 50 passengers — many of them students from Virginia Tech and Radford universities and the University of Virginia — when it flipped on a Powhite Parkway ramp in Richmond, said Sgt. Steve Vick, a spokesman for the Virginia State Police.

The driver, Thomas B. Chidester, 58, was charged with reckless driving, Virginia State Police said.

The students were being transported back to their colleges on a bus operated by a local ride-share transportation service when it overturned about 7:15 p.m., according to state police.

At least five engine companies, eight ambulances and an emergency transport bus responded, Elmore said. Parents flocked to the scene and to their children's colleges as word of the accident spread.

"When you have a bus of this size with that many students that are on it and that overturns like this in a crash, we're very fortunate that there were not more injured than there were," Elmore said.

The crash remained under investigation late Sunday, and authorities wouldn't speculate on a cause. The bus' operator, Abbott Trailways of Roanoke, Virginia, said it was cooperating with the investigation.