More than a dozen children are fine after a school bus wrecked on Feb. 20.
Superintendent Michael Freeman said that he visited the scene with school transportation director Corey Ross and that other staff were also present. The wreck occurred at the intersection of N.C. Highway 742 and Ansonville-Polkton Road between Wadesboro and Burnsville.
“We were very, very fortunate that the bus driver and students who had injuries had very, very minor injuries, thank goodness,” Freeman said.
Only one student reported an injury. That student initially declined medical attention but her mother was at the scene and allowed her to be checked as a precautionary measure, Freeman said.
The bus appeared to be struck by a vehicle operated by a woman, Freeman said. The driver of the car suffered injuries, though as of Monday evening, Freeman said he had not heard an update on the woman’s condition.
“The driver of the vehicle did sustain some injuries but she was conscious and alert when she was taken to the hospital from the scene,” Freeman said. “Her family was there with her and they were making sure she was well taken care of and she was being transported to a medical facility that could address her needs for the injuries she had.”
Freeman said that the North Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating the accident, and that it would “not be appropriate to speculate” on the specifics of the accident, but that “it did appear that the car actually hit the bus, and it made a very serious impact on the bus.” Both vehicles suffered “significant” damage.
Karen Martin was driving behind the bus when the wreck occurred.
“(The driver of the car) was coming from Polkton going towards Ansonville and ran the stop sign, hitting the side of the school bus going down (N.C. Highway) 742 towards Burnsville,” Martin said via email.
Martin said she believed the driver of the car had non-lifethreatening injuries, and reported that the bus driver had some “scrapes and bruises” but was otherwise fine.
“We got the kids off the bus and stayed with (the car driver)” until help arrived, Martin said.
Freeman said he believed there were 13 or 14 students on the bus.
“Fortunately, all of the students were very alert,” he said. “They were able to get off of the bus safely. They had a lot of good first responders there and school staff and community members to make sure they were in a safe place. We were fortunate that the bus came to a safe stop off the side of the road. The students were a good distance from the bus, so they were safe. The weather was very nice that day, so it was easier for them to stand outside while waiting for parents and guardians to come and take them home.”
Reach reporter Imari Scarbrough at 704-994-5471 and follow her on Twitter @ImariScarbrough.