Community, bus riders remember driver killed in Middletown crash: ‘Archie was a really good man’

Passengers on fatal bus crash in Middletown speak

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The Hamilton community continues to mourn a man who was killed in a church bus crash on Sunday morning in Middletown.

Archie Cheesman was picking up people in the community and heading to church when the bus was hit, according to his friends.

Now messages of love and condolence are being left outside Middletown Transmission, where Cheesman workers.

Previously | Church bus driver killed in Middletown crash identified, community mourning his loss

Joneva Boggs, 13, and Maliyah Marshall, 12, were two of 25 passengers heading to My Franklin Church when Cheesman’s bus was hit.

“We were just talking,” Joneva Boggs told FOX19 NOW.

“I was holding her (Joneva) baby sister, her two-month-old baby sister, not in a car seat or anything. I was just holding her like this,” Maliyah Marshall said, extending her arms from her body.

Marshall says the next things she remembers is being thrown from her seat after the bus’s side was hit by another driver on Dixie Highway.

“It was like, boom. You could hear it, and we just like jerked. She flew back to the back of the seat,” Boggs recalled.

The bus then reportedly lost control and rolled off the left side of the road, hitting a traffic sign and a utility pole.

Boggs says she was hurt in the process.

“I was really scared for my little sister, so I was looking for her, and there was a second crash, so I ended up hurting my leg and side real bad.”

The Middletown bus crash that killed 59-year-old Archie Cheesman.
The Middletown bus crash that killed 59-year-old Archie Cheesman. (Source: WXIX)

That’s when she noticed the bus driver, Cheesman, was also hurt.

“When I first saw Archie, he flew to the side,” Boggs explained.

Troopers say Cheesman was not wearing his seatbelt and died at the scene.

Many say they are sad to see one of the good ones go so soon.

“He would even pay my rent sometimes," Boggs added. “He would give people food, like he would go grocery shopping for me and my friend to put in the house.”

The girls say he’ll leave behind a legacy that will never be forgotten.

“Archie was a really good man. His personality was indescribable," Boggs said. “He was funny and he wanted us to do good, you know?”

The passengers on the bus say their hearts go out to Archie’s wife and his children.

According to his obituary, visitation for Archie Cheesman will be held Friday, February 7, 2020, from 5:00-8:00 pm at Towne Church, 3722 Towne Blvd., Middletown, OH 45005.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Saturday, February 8, 2020, at 11:00 am with Pastor Mark Crider officiating. Interment will be at Woodside Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Franklin First Church of God, 704 South River Street, Franklin, OH 45005. Condolences may be made to the family at www.bakerstevensparramore.com.

The driver who reportedly hit the bus has been identified as Amber Payne, 29, of Middletown.

OSHP says Payne was treated for minor injuries. So far she hasn’t been charged, but the investigation is still ongoing.

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