State Police to charge driver of bus that struck Soldiers Field Road overpass

The top of the bus was ripped off during the crash. Some of the teenagers aboard suffered serious injuries.
The top of the bus was ripped off during the crash. Some of the teenagers aboard suffered serious injuries.
Dina Rudick/Globe Staff

The Massachusetts State Police will file criminal charges against the man who was driving the bus that struck an overpass on Soldiers Field Road in February, spokesman David Procopio said.

Samuel J. Jackson, 67, of Philadelphia faces a criminal charge of negligent operation to endanger and civil violations for failing to obey a sign on the Department of Conservation and Recreation roadway and operating a bus on a DCR roadway, State Police said.

An investigation of the crash determined that Jackson did not heed signs prohibiting buses from that stretch of the roadway. The investigation also found that the bus did not slow as it entered the tunnel, significantly damaging the roof and frame of the bus, State Police said.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The Calvary Coach bus had taken teenagers from Pennsylvania to Harvard University to visit the campus on Saturday, Feb. 2. The bus was leaving the Boston area when it smashed into the tunnel that carries the road under the Western Avenue bridge in Allston at about 7:45 p.m. that night. The tunnel has a 10-foot height limit, State Police said.

A number of teenagers on the Destined for a Dream Foundation trip were injured, a handful seriously, and one young man severely, State Police said.

Jackson has been summonsed to appear in the Brighton Division of the Boston Municipal Court, where he will be prosecuted by the office of Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, State Police said.