The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

Bus driver charged in connection with crash that killed Brandeis student, injured dozens leaving Northeastern hockey game

Tire+marks%2C+vehicle+debris%2C+and+demolished+trees+were+left+on+the+scene+the+day+after+the+shuttle+accident+that+shook+the+Brandeis+community.+Photo+courtesy+Jen+Crystal%2FThe+Justice
Tire marks, vehicle debris, and demolished trees were left on the scene the day after the shuttle accident that shook the Brandeis community. Photo courtesy Jen Crystal/The Justice

The bus driver operating a shuttle that crashed and killed a Brandeis University student in Waltham last year has been charged with motor vehicle homicide, according to a statement Friday from Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan’s office. 

On Nov. 19, 2022, Jean Fenelon was allegedly driving 52 miles per hour in a 30-mile-per-hour zone before the shuttle bus crashed into two trees, killing 25-year-old Vanessa Mark, a Massachusetts State Police investigation found. Mark was pronounced dead at the scene, and 26 students, as well as Fenelon, were injured.

Many students on board were returning from a Northeastern men’s hockey game against Boston University, WBZ News reported. The Boston Globe reported Mark boarded the bus in Boston on her way back from a trip to New York City. 

Marks’ parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Fenelon and his employer, Joseph’s Transportation in August 2022, claiming if the bus company had done “simple due diligence” Fenelon “never would have been allowed behind the wheel,” said Clay Robbins III, the family’s attorney. They claimed Fenelon was overworked at the time of the crash and had exceeded the number of hours federal regulations allow commercial drivers with passengers to work. 

Fenelon was arraigned in Waltham District Court Friday and released on personal recognizance, Ryan said in the statement. He has been ordered not to operate a motor vehicle without a license and not to have contact with any of the witnesses. 

Northeastern community members gathered for a vigil Nov. 21, 2022, to honor Mark and other victims days after the crash, signing a card that read “Northeastern Stands With You,” Northeastern Global News reported.

“We wish to share our sorrow, our companionship with those at Brandeis University, and also at Northeastern University, who have been affected by the tragedy,” Northeastern Chancellor Kenneth Henderson said at the vigil.

About the Contributor
Sonel Cutler, Campus Editor
Sonel Cutler is a third-year journalism and political science combined major and campus editor of The News. She has previously served as deputy campus editor and is excited to continue bringing thoughtful and thorough coverage of campus life to Northeastern students. Sonel was most recently on co-op with the Boston Globe's Metro desk. You can follow her on Twitter at @cutler_sonel.
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