A plea has been entered by the driver of a bus that crashed earlier this year in Livingston County.
A hearing was held Monday for 27-year-old Brianne Nicole Pope of Taylor in 53rd District Court in Howell. There, Pope entered a no-contest plea, which is not an admission of guilt but will be treated as such at her sentencing January 23rd. As part of a Cobbs Agreement, she will not be sentenced to more than 10 days in jail or she can withdraw her plea. Pope was previously charged with three counts of Moving Violation Causing Serious Injury. The misdemeanors are punishable by up to 93 days in jail. The charges arose from the crash of a charter bus returning from a Hartland school field trip on April 27th. 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 in Howell Township. Some of the injuries sustained by passengers included a broken neck, broken ribs and a collapsed lung. A company spokesperson said Pope is no longer an employee. (DK/JK)