Local News

Bus Driver Involved In Rock Quarry Road Accident Had Prior Driving Convictions

Posted February 21, 2002

— The school bus driver who police say is responsible for

Tuesday's crash

on Rock Quarry Road has seven moving violations on his driving record. Erskine Bullock has six speeding convictions and one for illegal passing.

Raleigh police say Bullock ran a red light, causing the crash that sent 16 people to the hospital, five of them with critical injuries.

Vern Hatley, transportation director for Wake County Schools, explained school policy on bus driver driving records.

"Over a period of 10 years, if the person has had three moving violations in Wake County, then we look at them very seriously," he said.

Wake County school officials are taking a very serious look at the crash, but they say the bus driver's record is not what they are looking at.

"Five of his seven violations were between 1979 and 1982, many years ago and since then, his driving record has been very good," Hatley said.

Despite the wreck and the bus driver's record, the school system said Bullock was not on a collision course with safety.

"At some point, you have to accept that maybe people's driving habits and maturity sets in, and they do improve. I believe that's the case in Mr. Bullock's case," Hatley said.

The school system thinks there is one critical message to send to parents and students.

"I would like to add that we are very, very sorry for what happened. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of those who were injured, and we'll continue to work to improve -- to try to preclude something like this from ever happening again," Hatley said.

Bullock has been placed on paid leave. Police say they are waiting to see if all the victims recover before they file formal charges. Three people are still in critical condition.

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