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North Johnston High bus overturns

Posted November 29, 2011

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— 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. 

School bus flips No serious injuries when school bus flips near Kenly

"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.

39 Comments

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  • gigirl332 Nov 30, 2011

    as a bus driver for 15 years i really feel N.C. needs to better educate there drives on safty. i see alot of bus drivers cutting cars off , not stopping at rail roads and speeding. There is simply no reason this should have happened. If the kids were that bad , she should have 1) stopped the bus or 2) went back to the school

  • mustainemad Nov 30, 2011

    every school bus should have 2 staff members on board at all times--times are very different thanks to everyone's "little angels"

  • Iworkforaliving Nov 30, 2011

    flipped the bus because the students distracted her? Simple, she's fired. No excuses. Driving the vehicle is you first and only priority, if you can't do that without flipping it, then you need to find another job.

  • lizard78 Nov 30, 2011

    I have a family member who drives a bus for NJMS / NJHS... Some of those kids are out of control, she has reported their behavior several times and nothing is ever done, she is uncomfortable driving such a large vehicle anyway but apparently it is a requirment if you want to keep your job.

    What?!! She's uncomfortable driving such a large vehicle? Why is she a bus driver? Of corse driving the bus is a requirment

  • Sherlock Nov 30, 2011

    SHP should have arrested the kids and not charged the drive. The parents should have to pay the driver teh amount of the ticket, as her insurance will go up. The school should pay the driver for her damages and any money she loses from losing her job. this is clearly the school fault for not protecting the driver.

  • Fifteeninthemagandoneupthepipe Nov 30, 2011

    I have a family member who drives a bus for NJMS / NJHS... Some of those kids are out of control, she has reported their behavior several times and nothing is ever done, she is uncomfortable driving such a large vehicle anyway but apparently it is a requirment if you want to keep your job.

    Yeah, the driver lost control, Not good,,, However, the kids who caused the driver to become distracted in the first place should be removed from the bus route and have their bus riding privileges revoked for the remainder of the school year, let the parents figure out how to get their uncontrollable kids school.

  • godnessgracious2 Nov 29, 2011

    The kids will have a great story. I bet by the time it gets to everyone at school the story will be the bus rolled fifty times and destroyed ten cars.

  • ECUGrl2015 Nov 29, 2011

    Kids on these buses are appauling. Cussing, yelling, and throwing things out the windows. It can get very distracting. I rode the bus the first two years of high school.. horrible things go on that the driver has no control over. Not to mention the busses are very hard to steer. Maybe we should look at better control of our kids while they are on the bus and better quality busses. Oh wait we cant even afford teachers.

  • Mustange Nov 29, 2011

    Not only do the salaries exceed the private sector, they have 30 years and out, and the legislature props up their retirement fun with our tax dollars. Who props up your 401K when it loses money?
    Tha state workers who buy your products or what ever your company produces its the CEOs of big companys you need to ask that question about your 401k MONEY !

  • dae66 Nov 29, 2011

    There is NO EXCUSE for this!

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