Bus driver pleads not guilty

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In this photo released by the Boston Fire Department via Twitter, firemen work to remove injured passengers from a bus that hit an bridge as it traveled along Soldiers Field Road in the Allston neighborhood of Boston Saturday night, Feb. 2, 2013. Officials said the bus carrying 42 people was traveling from Harvard University home to Pennsylvania when it struck the overpass. (Boston Fire Department/AP)

The driver who crashed a bus full of Bucks County students into a Boston overpass in February pleaded not guilty Tuesday to criminal charges of negligence in district court in Massachussetts, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office.

Samuel J. Jackson, 67, of West Philadelphia, was charged in April by Massachussetts State Police for his role in the February crash that left about 35 of the 42 passengers injured after a visit to Harvard University. Jackson drove the bus into an overpass along Soldier Field Road on the way back to Bucks County. The road has multiple signs warning drivers about height restrictions.

Attempts to reach Jackson by telephone Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Ray Talmadge, owner of Calvary Coach, which Jackson was driving for, told WCAU-TV in February that Jackson was looking at his GPS unit and couldn't slow the bus in time to avoid hitting the overpass.

Talmadge, in a brief telephone conversation, said he doesn't know anything about the charges against Jackson. Asked if Jackson was still employed by Calvary Coach, Jackson said, "Calvary's no more."

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