Driver in Fatal Brandeis Bus Crash Charged

By Chris Wangler
November 6, 2023

The driver in a Brandeis bus crash last year that killed one and injured dozens has been charged with motor vehicle homicide and speeding.

Jean Fenelon, 58, of Boston, was arraigned in Waltham District Court on November 3 and released on personal recognizance, according to Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan.

Fenelon was ordered not to operate a motor vehicle without a license and not to have contact with any of the witnesses. His next court date is February 28, 2024.

Brandeis Tragedy

On November 19, 2022, a shuttle operated by Brandeis contractor Joseph’s Transportation was traveling back to the campus after a routine route from the Boston and Cambridge area.

Fenelon was driving north on River Road around 10:30 p.m. when he struck a curb and lost control, according to a Waltham Police crash report. 


The bus slammed into trees in front of 800 South Street. First responders found the mangled bus, 30 passengers and Fenelon. 


A 25-year-old Brandeis undergraduate on leave at the time, Vanessa Mark, was pronounced dead on scene, the DA said.


Twenty-six were transported to area hospitals with various injuries.

State Police crash reconstructors found that immediately before the crash Fenelon was traveling at 52 mph in a 30 zone. He was also driving erratically before the bus left the roadway and slammed into the trees. 

“The investigation further revealed that the defendant failed to apply the brakes,” the DA said.


A separate federal crash investigation showed that Fenelon was working for two bus companies without notifying either. 

By working too many hours during the week of the crash, he violated Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules for bus drivers. 

Civil Suits Progressing

During the summer, the parents of Vanessa Mark filed suit against Jean Fenelon and Medford-based Joseph’s Transportation, claiming negligence.

The family joined an existing Suffolk County civil suit with other crash victims seeking a share of a $5 million insurance policy, according to the Boston Globe.


Another victim, Jose Lopez, suffered a traumatic brain injury and remained hospitalized in critical condition for several weeks, according to a separate Suffolk County civil complaint against Fenelon and Joseph’s.

“As a direct result of the crash and the injuries he sustained, Jose Lopez is seriously, gravely and permanently injured,” the civil suit claimed.


Following the tragedy, Brandeis severed ties with Joseph’s Transportation. 

After developing a new transportation safety plan, the university started using a new bus contractor, DPV Transportation, of Everett.

Peter Lobo crash photos