Dad stuck in traffic discovers it's due to accident involving daughter's school bus

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CHESTERFIELD, Virginia (WTVR) – Some Chesterfield parents are upset that they learned from social media, not the school, about a bus crash involving their children.

Chuck Gates, a Chesterfield dad, along with his wife, said they don't feel like Facebook is the way they should be informed about an accident involving school children.

Early Tuesday morning, a Chesterfield bus was hit by Ernesto Blackbourne, who police said ran a stop sign before hitting the bus. There were five children on board.

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Gates said he found out that his daughter and four other students were on board when Blackbourne's stolen SUV slammed into the bus as it made a turn on onto Rattlesnake Road, from Mcrae.

"The block before the intersection was closed off," Gates said. "I realized the road was closed but wasn't sure why so I drove around. Traffic was terrible in Bon Air and I didn't realize the cause of the traffic until my wife texted me."

"I drove down to the school just so I could see her," Gates said.

Gates was relieved to learn none of the children on the bus headed to J.C. Hening elementary were hurt.

"Unfortunately we didn't learn about it until we'd seen it on social media," he said. "After that the school notified, and now the school has apologized.

"They said in the future they will make sure that the process is implemented in the correct manner in the future."

A Chesterfield school spokesperson told CBS 6 that the five Hening students were on the bus and uninjured, and confirmed that the school directly contacted the parents.

They were able to get on another bus and continue on with their school day.

Police said Blackbourne is charged with DUI, grand larceny for the stolen SUV, and not having a license in his possession.

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