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Southeastern PA

Donna Engler, school bus driver, charged in crash that killed Shirley Wilhelm near Pottstown

DA: Bus was being driven in 'a careless, reckless and grossly negligent manner'

School bus driver charged in crash that killed pedestrian

NORRISTOWN, Pa. - A school bus driver has been charged in a crash that killed a pedestrian in Montgomery County last month.

Donna Engler surrendered to authorities Friday morning on charges of involuntary manslaughter and careless driving.

Engler was behind the wheel of a school bus when it struck the pedestrian, identified as Shirley Wilhelm, at Mervine and Charlotte streets in Lower Pottsgrove Township, just outside Pottstown, on the morning of Sept. 9, officials said.

Wilhelm, 78, of Pottstown, died at the scene. The bus, officials said, kept going.

Investigators learned through a reconstruction of the crash that there were no obstructions to Engler seeing Wilhelm walking across Mervine Street, leading them to determine that Engler was driving in "a careless, reckless and grossly negligent manner," said First Asst. District Attorney Kevin Steele.

Engler was released Friday on $25,000 bail under the condition that she not drive a school bus.

Wilhelm, neighbors said, was known for walking several miles each day, often visiting a convenience store at the intersection to buy lottery tickets.

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