Trial date set for Athens bus driver accused in fatal wreck

Local News

ATHENS, Texas (KETK) – A trial date has been set for an 81-year-old Athens ISD bus driver charged for a student’s death.

John Stevens appeared in court on Thursday where his trial date was set. The jury trial is scheduled for Jan. 22, 2022.

He is charged with criminally negligent homicide and injury to a child after a bus he was driving was hit by a train, killing 13-year-old Christopher Bonilla and injured 9-year-old Joselyne Torres.

The process to setting a trial date for Stevens has been not an easy one.

A prosecutor from the Texas Attorney General’s office failed to appear at a status hearing in August, delaying the case further. The case had been handed to the AG’s office after the Henderson District Attorney Office recused themselves for a “conflict of interest.”

The collision happened in January 2019. According to the investigation report, two children were on board the bus when it collided with a Union Pacific train. The train pushed the bus one quarter of a mile before coming to a stop.

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