Local News

Former school bus driver charged in motorcyclist's death

Posted November 7, 2012
Updated November 8, 2012

— A former school bus driver for Johnston County Schools has been charged in connection with a fatal crash involving a motorcyclist.

Tammy Starling Clay, 44, of Matthews Way in Willow Spring, was arrested Thursday in connection with the Oct. 24 death of Carol Lynn Sutherland. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol said Sutherland died when Clay pulled her bus into the cyclist’s path.

Clay, who was driving a bus for McGee's Crossroads Elementary School, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.

Tracey Peedin Jones, a public information officer for Johnston County Schools, says Clay resigned from her job Oct. 31.


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  • tigger28 Nov 9, 2012

    Some of these comments are downright offensive to the victim, the driver and the families. This is not a "waste of taxpayer money." I'm curious to see how you'd feel if it were your family member, someone with two children at home. This is why we have a judicial system. A lot of lives were deeply affected in those few minutes and nothing anyone can do will make the families whole again. How would you compensate someone for the loss of a life?

  • kellbell33 Nov 9, 2012

    Carol was about 1 mile from her home when she was hit and killed. This part of Lansing Drive IS NOT in a curve or on a hill. I drive it every single day. The bus took a left right in front of her. Carol hit the bus and died. Yes, it was an accident. But the bus driver turned in front of her.

    She had just hung up with her 15 year old Son, telling him she'd be home in 10 minutes to start dinner.

    The kids on the bus witnessed nothing except Carol lying in the ditch after being hit by a bus that had just turned in front of her.

    There is no evil, county, government, law enforcement conspiracy to make anyone "look better". The picture that was posted from the scene on the news showed the bus turned in front of the motorcyclist. Even I could see that, before knowing anything.

  • rushlow2004 Nov 9, 2012

    This was the second bus accident this driver had this year, also my daughter used to ride this bus and I pulled her off that bus cause she would let her sit in on the floor if there was not enough seats. It took the dealth of a wonderful mother to finally do something about her. This is very sad!

  • urtwopid Nov 8, 2012

    Title was changed to reflect that it was a motorcycle and not a "cyclist" (Inferring bicycle.)

  • urtwopid Nov 8, 2012

    Wasn't in Dunn, was in Benson. And like I said earlier, my son was on that bus, and no Police agency has asked to speak to him to get information. She needs to be guilty because it benefits the County. There was a "Scene investigation". They have the evidence they want to convict her, and have ignored all of the evidence that makes it what it is AN ACCIDENT.

  • The Oracle Nov 8, 2012

    "What's with the definition cyclist: ....
    In this case, I think it is used to save space."

    Sure, the word bicyclist uses much more space than cyclist.

  • urtwopid Nov 8, 2012

    question_why.... This is because Johnston County is going to get sued. It is all legal Bull Sheep. Not only will she have charges against her, now the family of the woman will be able to sue HER for the accident. Blame our legal system for allowing this to take place.

  • oldrebel Nov 8, 2012

    To indicate whether it was a bicycle or a motorcycle is to increase the reader's understanding of the story.

    One could have easily just said Mrs. Clay was driving a large truck...but doesn't saying it was a bus, and a school bus loaded with children, make the story more accurate.

  • urtwopid Nov 8, 2012

    No cantstandgoloanymore I think they were just pointing out what we know already... There are no REAL news reporters anymore. They do not fact check, they print ANYTHING, and then apologize for it later(maybe). It was a motorcycle, not a bicycle. No one driving a motorcycle is called a cyclist.

  • Go Figure Nov 8, 2012

    Thank you, urtwopid, for explaining this situation correctly. Something jounalism refuses to do these days .....God Bless all involved. Lives changed forever.