‘Kids are screaming;’ Bus driver speaks publicly for the first time about deadly school bus crash

CLARK COUNTY — The trial of the man accused of causing a deadly school bus crash last year continued on Tuesday and the driver of the bus took the stand and spoke about the crash for the first time.

The man accused of the crash is taking the stand today. We will have all the key moments starting on News Center 7 at 5:00.

Eugene Collier is in the middle of his seventh year as a bus driver for Northwestern Local Schools. In court on Tuesday, prosecutors asked him if he knew the students he was driving on to the first day of school in August.

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: ‘It was a disaster;’ Police chief recalls racing to scene of deadly school bus crash

“Knew them all,” Collier said.

As we showed you on News Center 7 at 6:00, he went on to describe what he remembers from that day in August.

“It was a beautiful, sunny morning. It was nice,” he recalled. “The kids were extremely quiet for the first day of school and it was just very peaceful that morning.”

But then, Collier testified how that peace turned to chaos in an instant.

“Just coming around that slight curve there, I noticed a car coming across the center line. And my first reaction was that I got over to the side that possibly the car would correct and miss us,” he told the court.

In the onboard bus video shown in court for the first time on Tuesday, you could see Collier try to avoid that crash, but the van slammed into the bus. That caused the bus to roll and end up on its top.

The crash killed 11-year-old Aiden Clark.

The van’s driver, Hermanio Joseph, is facing charges of involuntary manslaughter and vehicular homicide for the crash.

>> RELATED: Trial begins today for man accused of causing deadly Clark County school bus crash

Collier even pointed out to the jury where Clark was sitting in his assigned seat before the crash happened.

He also recalled where he was in the moments after the impact.

“I’m still in my seat. I’m hanging upside down. My kids are screaming,” Collier said.

The bus driver also testified that he unbuckled his seatbelt, dropped to the roof of the bus, and started calming his students and getting them to move to the back door of the bus to get out. A man had already “popped open” the door to help all those children.

“I just remember the people helping the kids move to a safe spot,” Collier recalled.

Joseph’s trial is expected to pick back up around 9 a.m. on Wednesday.

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