Local News

Students Shaken But Safe After Johnston County Bus Accident

Posted September 8, 2006

— A school bus with several dozen students on board overturned into a ditch in Selma Friday afternoon.

  • Video: Sky 5 Coverage

    Authorities said more than 40 students from Selma Elementary School and Selma Middle School were on the bus when it overturned on

    Highway 96 at Old Beulah Road


    "It was like you were on a roller coaster," said student Carolyn Murphy. "But it was going around and around and it wouldn't stop, and then it finally stopped."

    "I don't know what happened, but we were out of control, rolling and rolling and everybody was screaming and got hurt," said student Sandra Martinez.

    Bus driver Kenneth Jackson told investigators he saw something in the road and swerved to avoid it. The bus ended up flipping over into a ditch.

    "It started to the other side of the road; then you can see the passenger side of the bus and then it just slammed down hard," said witness Wayne Rudd. "It sounded like an explosion when it hit on the driver's side."

    Rudd said he rushed to help get the students off the bus. Many suffered minor cuts and bruises. Some were treated at the scene.

    Thirty-nine of the students were transported to Johnston Memorial Hospital, school district spokeswoman Crystal Roberts said. Two others were taken by their parents to WakeMed in Raleigh.

    Outside Johnston Memorial Hospital Friday evening, anxious parents waited for word about their children.

    "I was just hoping and praying he was all right, that both of them were alright," said Tanita Jackson.

    "The first thing is to ensure that our students are safe and that the parents are notified so they can be reunited with their families," said Roberts.

    Ken Jackson suffered minor injuries in the accident. School officials said he is a teacher's assistant and substitute driver. He received his commercial license a year ago.

    Neither spokeswoman had additional information about why the bus overturned. It was the only vehicle involved in the accident.

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