Arraignment Held For Driver Charged In Hartland Field Trip Bus Crash

The driver of a bus that crashed earlier this year in Livingston County has been arraigned.

27-year-old Brianne Nicole Pope of Taylor was arraigned Thursday in 53rd District Court in Howell on three counts of Moving Violation Causing Serious Injury. The misdemeanors are punishable by up to 93 days in jail.

Prosecutor Bill Vailliencourt last month announced that his office has filed the charges arising out of the crash of a charter bus returning from a Hartland school field trip on April 27th in Howell Township. The case was investigated by the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office.

A lawsuit was filed against Pope last month by Holly Shuart of Highland, who was one of the chaperones on the trip. The lawsuit also names the bus company, Ground Travel Specialist, as a defendant and seeks damages in excess of $25,000. Shuart claims Pope was negligent and careless when driving the bus before it overturned on the freeway off-ramp from eastbound I-96 onto M-59. Some of the injuries sustained by passengers included a broken neck, broken ribs and a collapsed lung.

Vailliencourt previously stated that the criminal charges filed by his office are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. A pre-trial hearing for Pope has been set for December 16th. (DK/JK)

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