Updated 10/15/2012 09:52 PM
Teen Driver Charged in Car Vs. Bus Crash
The Brighton Police Department has filed charges against a teenage driver who rear-ended a school bus on Warren Avenue in Brighton last week.
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John Zakhary was driving three friends home from Brighton High School last week. Shortly after, neighbors on Warren Avenue came outside to find a portion of his vehicle pinned under a school bus. Police in Brighton say the bus, carrying four elementary aged children, was rear-ended by Zakhary's car.
"The vehicle was being operated well in excess of the 25 mile per hour speed limit," said Chief Mark Henderson of the Brighton Police Department.
Police say prior to the collision, Zakhary ran a stop sign, failed to keep right, and had too many people in the car. State law prohibits junior license holders to have more than one passenger under the age of 21 in their vehicle, unless they're a family member.
"They are talking laughing, distracting the driver continuously with questions,” said Larry Scott, Morgan School of Driving.
Scott says car accidents continue to be the leading cause of death among teenagers.
“Confidence without competence is dangerous, when they think they're good and they're not,” Scott said.
Zakhary and the other three occupants, 16-year-old Scott Collins, 16-year-old Kevin Thapa, and 14-year-old Christa Mickol were transported to Strong Memorial Hospital. All have been released except for Collins, who is still in intensive care.
"A mistake you make that lasts three seconds can take your life, or some else's life,” Scott said.
In order for a minor to obtain a driver's permit or license, a parent's signature was needed. Scott urges parents to know their rights.
"The parent has the right to withdraw that signature and they take the license away from that kid. A lot of parents don't know that,” he said. “As we often tell parent's, it's the most dangerous thing your child's going to do unless they go to war."
Henderson says they are working with the school district to monitor safe driving from school property. He says the case has been turned over to the Monroe County District Attorney's Office.
Zakhary is set to appear in Brighton Town Court on October 29th.