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Justice discusses Calhoun County school bus wreck

Takes issue with border joke about W.Va. on MSNBC

By Evan Bevins, The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice addressed the crash of a Calhoun County school bus with an intoxicated driver at the wheel and a joke made by political pundits at West Virginia’s expense during his online briefing Monday.

Justice said he plans to visit the county where 19 students were traveling in a bus that rolled on its side Monday evening. The driver, 54-year-old Jeffrey Brannon of Big Bend, was arrested at the scene and arraigned on three counts each of driving under the influence resulting in serious injury and child neglect resulting in injury. He’s being held at the Central Regional Jail in Flatwoods on a $250,000 bond.

“We’ll be visiting the Calhoun County schools real, real, real, real soon,” said Justice, who will deliver a School Building Authority check to the district on March 11.

The governor said one young woman at the scene will be recognized for helping the students on the bus.

“I commend these incredible students,” he said.

School officials said students were taken to three different hospitals. A criminal complaint filed in the case said at least three students, between ages 12 and 14, suffered serious injuries, including a fractured vertebra and a concussion.

Later in the briefing, Justice took issue with remarks by MSNBC personalities covering the Super Tuesday returns. In a video clip being widely shared online, host Jen Psaki and other panelists discuss exit polls showing voters in Virginia listed the southern border as their top concern. They questioned that given Virginia’s location and suggested it was part of a strategy to pit voters against people who look different from them.

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