Bus driver in fatal crash not facing charges — (Holland Sentinel)

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Holland Sentinel

 By Jim.Hayden @hollandsentinel.com (616) 546-4274

Posted Nov. 11, 2013 @ 2:06 pm

Holland, Mich. –  The driver of the bus that struck and killed an 18-year-old Hope College student on May 25 is not facing any charges related to the incident.

Travis John Terrell of Franklin, Tenn., was driving the bus on U.S. 31 near Chicago Drive that was carrying members of the Christian pop-rock band Audio Adrenaline on their way back to Nashville, Tenn., from a show in Muskegon. The southbound bus struck Riley Gortsema of Grandville about 1:46 a.m. She died at the scene.

Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office deputies administered a breathalyzer test to Terrell.  The results showed no alcohol, according to documents obtained from the sheriff’s office by The Sentinel under the Freedom of Information Act.

On June 27, a memo from Ottawa County Prosecuting Attorney said no charges would be authorized against Terrell.

Gortsema died of multiple traumatic injuries after being struck by the bus that was traveling about 60 mph.  A bystander at the scene was performing CPR on Gortsema when deputies arrived.

The medical examiner listed the cause of death as indeterminate — not an accident or a suicide, according to health department documents viewed through the Freedom of Information Act.   Indeterminate means there is a question whether the death was accidental or intentional.

Gortsema had alcohol in her system as well as the antidepressant Citalopram.

Gortsema, a Calvin Christian High School graduate, was a sophomore at Hope College taking a May class and living on campus when the crash occurred.

Police interviews with Gortsema’s friends show they were concerned about her that night when she could not be located.  Hope College campus police were called and the Holland Department of Public Safety notified about the missing woman.

— Follow Jim Hayden on Twitter@SentinelJim.