Two file suits in bus accident

Published 9:34 pm Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Two people have filed suit against the Suffolk School Board for charges stemming from a January school bus accident.

Laura Winborne, on behalf of her daughter, Lauren Winborne, and Steven Stogsdill both have filed suit against the School Board to recover damages from the Jan. 28 accident. According to the suits, bus driver William M. Blackwell was headed westbound on Nansemond Parkway about a half-mile east of Shoulders Hill Road about 7 a.m. on Jan. 28, 2009. He struck a car operated by Ashley Riposa from behind, according to the suits.

Both lawsuits allege that Blackwell operated the bus in “such a careless, reckless and negligent manner, that he caused the school bus to run on and into the rear of the motor vehicle being operated by Ashley A. Riposa,” reads the Winborne suit.

Lauren Winborne, a Nansemond River High School student, was a passenger on the bus. Stogsdill was a passenger in Riposa’s vehicle. Both suffered serious injuries, according to the lawsuits.

The suits accuse Blackwell of operating a vehicle without keeping a reasonable lookout for other vehicles that would affect his driving, failure to keep proper control and following at an unsafe distance.

Winborne is asking for $100,000 plus interest from Jan. 28. Stogsdill is asking for $150,000.

Richard Matthews, attorney for the School Board, denied most of the claims in an answer to the Stogsdill suit, citing “contributory negligence.”

A trial by jury is scheduled for June 9, 2010 on the Stogsdill suit. No schedule for the Winborne suit has been announced.