A former Knox County school bus driver walked
into court Monday with a newspaper article as
her only proof to support her plea of not guilty
to a traffic offense.
But the power of the press failed to carry
the day for Mary Edgeworth.
After a short trial, City
Court Judge John Rosson found Edgeworth's
evidence lacking. He ruled Edgeworth of Lenoir
City was guilty of the traffic infraction that
stemmed from a May 4 bus crash with an oncoming
The 61-year-old Edgeworth was found guilty of
failure to maintain traffic lanes. She was
ordered to pay a $15 fine and court costs, for a
total of $111.50, said Susan Henry, principal
secretary to Court Administrator Richard
And Edgeworth remains ineligible to drive a
bus in Knox County, according to Knox County
Schools spokesman Russ Oaks. She was deemed
ineligible to drive immediately after the crash.
"She would have to bring anything to us that
we should know that might change that status,"
Oaks said Monday.
Edgeworth was driving a bus loaded with
Bearden High School students when the collision
occurred at 3:42 p.m. at the intersection of
Gleason Road and Downtown West Boulevard.
As she approached the intersection, Edgeworth
told investigators, she encountered a car
stopped to make a turn.
When the bus brakes failed, Edgeworth steered
the bus around the stopped vehicle but slammed
into an oncoming 1995 Nissan Maxima. None of the
students on the bus was badly injured. The
driver of the car and her 7-year-old grandson
also escaped serious harm.
Edgeworth had experienced problems with the
bus brakes before leaving the school. She had
relayed her concerns by radio to bus owner
Richard Domnissey, but he left the decision to
her about continuing the route or waiting for a
replacement bus, the police investigation
Edgeworth presented Rosson with a News
Sentinel article about the crash as her evidence
that faulty brakes caused the wreck, not her
driving. Knoxville Police Officer Donnie Sams,
who investigated the crash, also testified
during the hearing.
The article noted that state bus inspectors
after the wreck found the rear brakes inoperable
or out of adjustment and the parking brake
"He found that there was some foreknowledge
of the brake problem and she shouldn't have
driven the bus," Henry said of Rosson's
The traffic infraction will attach three
points against Edgeworth's driving record.