North Johnston High bus overturns
Posted November 29, 2011
Kenly, N.C. — A school bus carrying some North Johnston High School students overturned Tuesday afternoon, but no serious injuries were reported, officials said.
The bus flipped on Oliver Road south of Kenly at about 3:30 p.m., and authorities said 13 students were on the bus at the time. Johnston County Schools spokeswoman Terri Sessoms said three were taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital as a precaution.
Lamont'e Ruffin, 14, was asleep on board when the bus wrecked.
"I woke up when the bus started curving," he said. "Everybody though that it was done until the bus flipped over and people started falling and stuff."
Ruffin said he has a knot in his chin and sore ribs, but was otherwise unharmed.
"It was crazy," he said. "I did not know how to get out, so I was acting crazy."
The State Highway Patrol said bus driver Pamela Pierce Harper was distracted by the students and lost control of the bus in a curve. She went off the right side of the road, over-corrected and drove into a ditch on the left side of the road, causing the bus to overturn, said Sgt. Art Kirby.
"(The bus) traveled off the roadway on the opposite side and struck the ditch bank just about head-on," Kirby said. "We are fortunate here today in Wayne County."
Harper, 43, of Selma, was charged with failure to maintain lane control.
Sessoms said the school system will conduct an internal investigation to determine Harper's status as a bus driver.