Shibler: Rockford bus driver to face charge

ROCKFORD, Mich. (WOOD) — A Rockford Public Schools bus driver is expected to face charges in connection to a February crash that left a Cannonsburg woman dead, the superintendent says.

Superintendent Mike Shibler told 24 Hour News 8 Tuesday night that he has seen court documents indicating bus driver Lee Ann Antuma, 61, will be charged with one misdemeanor count of a moving violation causing death.

That charge is connected to the Feb. 24 Cannon Township crash that killed Ione Potter. Potter was driving east on Cannonsburg Road NE when her car was hit by Antuma’s bus as the Rockford driver tried to turn left onto Dun Robin Drive. The 86-year-old from Cannonsburg died at the hospital.

Alvin Potter, Ione’s husband of 59 years, told 24 Hour News 8 Wednesday that the crash “took away his life.”

“Every day, I cry,” the 89-year-old said. “You live with that heartache until it isn’t such a heartache anymore, but you always remember the wonderfulness.”

He said he bears no grudge against Antuma. No one is perfect, he said.

“I can live with the pain, but if there is bitterness behind it. I can’t live with it,” he said. “A lesson in forgiveness, not to hold on to the bitterness, but to forgive.”

Shibler told 24 Hour News 8 that after learning of the charge Tuesday, his staff contacted Antuma. She was not yet aware the charge had been filed with the court.

Shibler said Antuma has not driven a bus since the crash and has been working as a paraprofessional doing office work. He said Antuma, who once trained other bus drivers and prepared them to get their CDL endorsements, will never drive a bus in the district again. He said she will remain as an employee pending the outcome of the charges.

Several students were aboard the bus at the time of the crash, but none were seriously injured.

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