Pennsbury bus accident victim receives one-year probation for possession charges

Posted: September 05, 2012

Ashley Zauflik, the former Pennsbury High School student who won a $14 million suit against her school district after she was run over by a bus and lost a leg, received a year's probation Tuesday for possession and use of marijuana.

Zauflik, 22, of Fairless Hills, whose civil verdict is still in dispute, was given one year of probation on the possession charge and six months' probation for driving while under the influence, to run concurrently.

She was admitted into two programs that will allow her record to be cleared once she completes probation and community service, so long as she does not commit further crimes, Bucks County Court Judge Wallace H. Bateman Jr. said.

Zauflik also had her driver's license suspended for 60 days, and was ordered to complete a safe-driving course and pay court costs.

She has completed her community service by doing volunteer work for Falls Fire Company No. 1, said her lawyer, William Goldman.

"Ashley is doing very well," Goldman said of Zauflik, who stood next to him on crutches, without her prosthesis. She declined to comment.

Zauflik was arrested twice in April, for driving under the influence and for drug possession while parked in a lot.

The woman, who underwent more than 25 surgeries and procedures following the January 2007 accident, "was self-medicating," Goldman said.

Zauflik qualified for the programs to clear her record because she was a first-time offender and the crimes did not involve violence, Goldman said.

Assistant District Attorney Robert James said the disposition of the case was routine.

Zauflik was the most seriously hurt of about 20 students who were run over by an out-of-control Pennsbury bus outside the high school. She was in a medically induced coma for days and in the hospital for a month.

In December, a Bucks County jury awarded Zauflik $14 million in her civil suit against the school district, which stipulated that its bus driver had caused the accident. The driver has maintained that the bus malfunctioned.

In May, Judge Robert J. Mellon reduced the award to $500,000, based on a state liability cap for school districts and municipalities.

Zauflik's lawyers have appealed the verdict and expect to end up in state Supreme Court with a challenge of the liability cap.


Contact Bill Reed at 215-801-2964, wreed@philly.com, and @breedbucks on Twitter. Read his blog, "BucksInq," at www.philly.com/bucksinq.

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