Grand jury will hear evidence in I-565 bus crash - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Grand jury will hear evidence in I-565 bus crash

Twenty three days after one of the worst bus wrecks in recent history, the NTSB is back in town.

Police are still collecting evidence, but does anyone face charges?

Police likely won't charge anyone with anything in the bus tragedy.

Instead, a grand jury will hear the case.

But what's that mean? 

Who's at fault?

Is someone to blame?

Will anyone face criminal charges?

Questions heard ever since November 20th, when four teenagers died as bus 5037 plummeted off I-565.

Answers that will eventually be left up to 18 registered voters in Madison County.

Attorney Derek Simpson explains a grand jury can either indict or not.

"An indictment is nothing to get excited about.  The indictment is just the procedure to bring people to trial.  It doesn't mean anybody is guilty or anybody is innocent.  It just brings the case to trial," says Simpson.

A decision made only after many months of work, some of which was done Tuesday morning as Huntsville police, the NTSB, and Toyota investigators spent the morning back on the overpass.

They will collect as much evidence possible, hand all of it to the district attorney's office, which in turn presents that evidence to the grand jury.

Those 18 people then must decide if a crime has been committed and whether or not to send the case to trial.

Either way, the decision is up to the people.

"We have four Huntsville City students who died as a result of the accident and I think it's going to be up to the citizens of Madison County if they think a crime has been committed and that's why they'll present it to a grand jury. To look at every possible issue, everything that's happened to see if there's been a crime committed," says Simpson.

There is no time frame on when a grand jury might hear the evidence in the I-565 bus tragedy.

There is no double jeopardy statute for grand jury.

The District Attorney's office can present a case as many times as it sees fit.

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