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District Attorney

Posted on: April 16, 2019

Pa. Court Grants No Relief to Driver who Fled Scene of Crash Involving School Students

JamesIrvin

A Lancaster man convicted of fleeing after causing a multi-vehicle crash that injured several school students will get no relief from a state appellate court.

James P. Irvin III was sentenced last year to 5 to 20 years in prison regarding his trial conviction on over 60 charges from the May 17, 2017, crash on Route 30 in East Lampeter Township.

Two students were seriously injured; others sustained less-serious injuries. Irvin, 48, fled in a white Chevy Malibu; he was arrested six days later.

On Monday, the Pennsylvania Superior Court denied Irvin’s request for a new trial. Irvin argued the evidence did not support a conviction of aggravated assault.

The appellate court denied that and wrote in support of denial that:

- Were it not for Irvin’s reckless driving and illegal passing, none of the injuries would have happened.

- Irvin knew of the risk of collision and potential serious injury when he broke the speed limit by 30 mph and passed in an opposing traffic lane while attempting to overtake an 86-foot-long tractor trailer.

“He put his punctuality ahead of the safety of everyone else on the road that day,” the court’s 10-page opinion states.

Lancaster County Judge Howard Knisely returned the verdict and, at sentencing, said he found Irvin acted with malice.

Judge Knisely said Irvin showed “no regard” for anyone on the road when he drove 71 mph, while accelerating, during an illegal pass which caused the chain-reaction crash that led to a bus with Lancaster Mennonite School students tipping onto its side.

The bus was carrying 14 students. A 6-year-old boy was pinned under the bus and sustained a fractured clavicle, a lacerated spleen, and rib fractures. Another boy, 16, sustained a fractured vertebra.

Assistant District Attorneys Travis S. Anderson and Trista Boyd won the conviction. ADA Boyd handled the post-conviction motions.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041; bhambright@co.lancaster.pa.us; Twitter: @BrettHambright

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