Butler County man sentenced to house arrest in fatal train crash

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A Butler man today received 16 years of probation, the first also on house arrest, for his role in a fatal 2013 crash involving a paratransit bus he was driving and a train at a foggy crossing in Evans City.

Frank Schaffner, 60, was sentenced today by Butler County Common Pleas Judge William Shaffer after pleading guilty last month to two counts of involuntary manslaughter and eight counts of reckless endangerment in connection with the April 26 accident that killed two.

Police at the time said Mr. Schaffner, who was driving the bus of elderly and disabled passengers, made no attempt to slow or stop at the rural railroad crossing where the crash occurred -- only turning to look at the oncoming train as it struck the bus. Mr. Schaffner said the crash was an accident.

Mr. Schaffner's attorney, Michael Pawk, said his client was crying in the courtroom today as the judge delivered the sentence. Many of the people the former bus driver transported also were his friends, Mr. Pawk said.

"It was a difficult day, but it was a day that he needed to get behind him," he said.

Claudette Miller, 91, of Callery and John Burkett, 88, of Zelienople died in the crash.

First Published March 13, 2014 2:09 PM


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