TRENTON, New Jersey — Prosecutors say no criminal charges will be filed in connection with a fatal school bus crash in southern New Jersey last year.
The crash occurred in February 2012, when a dump truck collided with the back of the bus and rammed it into a pole at an intersection in Chesterfield. Eleven-year-old Isabelle Tezsla was killed in the crash, while both her triplet sisters and another student were seriously injured.
In announcing his decision Wednesday, Burlington County Prosecutor Robert Bernardi noted that a National Transportation Safety Board report on the crash identified factors that clearly demonstrated negligent conduct on the part of several parties. However, he said none of that negligent conduct rose to a "level of recklessness" needed to bring criminal charges against anyone involved in the collision.
Twenty-five elementary school students were on the bus when the collision occurred. Seventeen children were injured overall, though must only suffered bumps and bruises.
"While our hearts go out to the Tezsla family and the families of all of the children on board the bus, we are required to evaluate the actions of the parties based on that standard of reckless conduct," Bernardi said. "In our view those actions do not support the filing of criminal charges."
Motor vehicle citations were issued to both drivers and to the company that owned the dump truck.