Local News

Kindergartner Hit By Truck At Chatham County Bus Stop, Brother Injured

Posted February 26, 2002

— An accident at a Chatham County school bus stop has killed a

Perry Harrison Elementary School

kindergartner and injured his brother.

Troopers say the accident happened around 7:30 a.m. north of Pittsboro at Mount Gilead Church Road.

Their father had dropped the two boys off at the bus stop on his way to work, and when they were crossing U.S. 15-501 to catch the bus, a small pick-up truck hit 5-year-old Terrance Howard, who died instantly. His 10-year-old step-brother, Monterris Davis, was also injured. Davis was treated at UNC Hospitals for cuts and scrapes.

Fifteen students on the bus witnessed the incident.

Witnesses say the bus's warning lights were flashing, but that it had not come to a complete stop when the boys crossed the road.

Neighborhood residents say they are saddened by the incident, but not surprised.

They say there is nothing routine about the dangers the schoolkids face crossing 15-501 each morning.

"Every time that I come out here I get kind of afraid because people come flying around the curves and with the caution lights, some of them barely stop before they get to the bus," said Steven Oakes, a neighborhood resident who is also friends with Howard and Davis.

A spokesperson for Chatham County Schools says there is no place near the stop for a bus to safely turn around, so students have to cross 15-501 to board the bus.

The Highway Patrol is still working on its investigation.

They plan to conduct an accident reconstruction, then present those results to the district attorney who will decide whether to file charges against Willie Blu Johnson, who was driving the pick-up, or Claus Wustrow Jr., who was driving the bus.

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