Scott Shenk writes about transportation issues affecting Fredericksburg-area residents. You can email him at

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Driver in March bus crash pleads guilty in Stafford County

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The driver in the March bus crash on Interstate 95 that injured dozens has pleaded guilty to reckless driving.



Qilong Xiao, with the help of a Mandarin interpreter, entered a guilty plea in Stafford County General District Court on Friday. As part of the plea agreement, Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Olsen dropped a charge of driving while disqualified.

The reckless driving charge carries a possible sentence of a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

Xiao’s sentencing is set for Sept. 19.

The 50-year-old Flushing, N.Y., resident was taken off the road shortly after the crash because of his language problems, according to court records. His inability to speak English also led to the driving while disqualified charge.

Xiao was driving a discount bus for Princess Tours at about 4 a.m. on March 17 when the crash happened on the snowy southbound lanes of I-95 near the Stafford Regional Airport.

Fifty-eight passengers were taken to area hospitals. Four of the victims suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

The Virginia State Police said speed was a factor in the crash, one of hundreds of incidents statewide during the St. Patrick’s Day storm that dumped about 5 inches of snow in the Fredericksburg area.

See the full story later online and in The Free Lance-Star.


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