Crime & Justice

School bus driver charged with allegedly hiding medical condition that caused injury crash

The driver of this school bus is charged with not disclosing he had a condition at the time of this crash that caused him to get dizzy and black out. The middle school students aboard were injured, four seriously, when the driver passed out and the bus crashed into a bunch of trees.
The driver of this school bus is charged with not disclosing he had a condition at the time of this crash that caused him to get dizzy and black out. The middle school students aboard were injured, four seriously, when the driver passed out and the bus crashed into a bunch of trees.
screengrab from NBC-LA

A former school bus driver has been charged with causing serious injuries to students in Anaheim Hills after he passed out behind the wheel and a bus crashed into trees, the Orange County District Attorney announced in a statement Friday.

The crash took place on April 24 around 3:40 p.m. and resulted in severe injuries to four of the 11 El Rancho Charter Middle School students on board including fractured bones, intra-cranial hemorrhaging, a shattered spine, and amputation of a toe.

Gerald Douglas Rupple, 25 is charged with one felony count each of child abuse and endangerment, perjury by declaration, and a sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily injury.

Rupple is accused of not disclosing to the Orange Unified School District that he had a medical condition at the time of the crash that causes dizziness, seizures and blackouts.

Specifically, Rupple “is accused of not disclosing his medical condition to the physician conducting his required commercial driver fitness examination and falsely declaring under penalty of perjury that his medical history was accurate,” according to the Orange County DA statement.

If convicted, Rupple faces a maximum sentence of 19 years in state prison. He is being held on $100,000 bail and is being extradited from Arizona, where he was arrested Thursday. He is scheduled to be arraigned at a later date.