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Four charged in chain-reaction May 19 crash

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Three bus drivers and the driver of a car involved in a May 19 crash that injured 61 people were charged Thursday with following too closely.

Six buses were traveling in the westbound left lane of Interstate 20 in Newton County when traffic began to slow down as the vehicles approached a construction zone, said Georgia State Patrol Sgt. Matt Gunnin. The first bus in line began braking, causing the second bus to brake and resulting in a chain-reaction crash.

A 2011 Chevrolet, driven by Latarsha Moneek Owens, 37, of Waynesboro, Ga., rear-ended the sixth bus. The buses were carrying students and chaperones from Burke County Middle School to Six Flags. The crash occurred about 10 a.m.

The bus drivers charged were Betty Harrison Dukes, 48, of Waynesboro; Angela Benjamin Anthony, 44, of Midville; and Stephanie D. Pierce, 37, of Midville. They were driving the second, fifth and sixth buses, respectively.

A court date for the individuals charged is scheduled for Sept. 18 in the Newton County Probate Court in Covington, Ga.

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