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Driver Charged After Hitting Bus of School Children, Adults

Posted June 2, 2007
Updated June 3, 2007

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— A student field trip was cut short Saturday morning when a truck rear-ended a bus carrying Fayetteville students and chaperones.

Eight adults and 18 students from Cumberland Mills Elementary were headed to Raleigh to see an IMAX movie and eat at Golden Corral as a reward for working hard in school this past year.

Around 10 a.m., their bus drove into a construction zone on I-40 at the Wake-Johnston County line. Traffic merged into one lane, and cars started hitting their brakes.

“The car ahead of me stopped. I had to stop before hitting him,” said bus driver Branson Matthews.

When the bus stopped, the silver Dodge pickup truck behind them didn’t.

“The truck tail-ended me, a pretty good bang,” Matthews said.

Three adults and one child were taken to WakeMed with minor injuries. The remaining children were fine, according to Pat Strober, the field trip coordinator.

“They immediately asked if we were going to the IMAX,” Strober said.

Troopers had other worries, especially after the stopped bus blocked the single westbound lane for 20 minutes. Troopers charged the driver of the truck, Wade Chester Dean of Zebulon, with failure to reduce speed.

“We’ve talked about accidents, and it just happens,” Strober said.

The field trip has been postponed, but school officials said the kids have been understanding.

"They'll be fine as long as they know we're going another day," Strober said.

46 Comments

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  • moglinferno Jun 4, 2007

    The people who cause the problems are the people that I pass and have to ride behind every day going 5-10 miles UNDER the speed limit! What is that? Being safe? Hardly - they are the ones that cause the accidents. Majority of the people I'm forced to ride behind DO NOT drive the speed limit. Everyone talks about speeders and being inconsiderate - what about going UNDER the speed limit? Or what about driving UNDER the speed limit in the fast lane which is UNIVERSALLY known as the left lane? Or coming to a complete stop at a light that's green to make a turn with nothing in the way? Talk about inconsideration.

  • Nope Jun 4, 2007

    Baracus is right - everyone needs to be as careful and alert as possible, and not be in such a rush.

  • Nope Jun 4, 2007

    WTLFTR - Normally that would be a good rule, BUT there aren't any romans nowadays.

    In 1960, the wake county population was about 169,000.

    In 2007, the wake county population is about 815,000.

  • baracus Jun 4, 2007

    talkabout, too true. Too many people are too quick to make everything an "us/them" issue and paint all of "them" with a broad brush.

    As to the accident, if you can't see around the bus/truck in front of you, that means you need to allow even more room. It is not an excuse for rear-ending someone.

  • wtliftr Jun 4, 2007

    Hope-
    when in Rome, do as the Romans....

  • Nope Jun 4, 2007

    I think that the mix of people here is to blame. You have people who learned to drive in different parts of the country, each with their own customs, and the differences come out. Someone from up north, for example, when merging onto a highway is looking over their left shoulder, picking the spot they will merge into. They are not expecting the southerner in front of them to come to a complete stop in the merge lane when they look forward again.

  • LambeauSouth Jun 4, 2007

    I drive this section everyday The new 70 bypass is a construction zone and NO-ONE drives the posted limit
    including buses or Semi's. The posted speed limit is 60 mph
    and if everyone would drive according to the posted speed there would have been enough time to stop. It's the ME-First Generation that can or wont drive according to the law. Any Hey everyone hang up the DANG CELL PHONES and Drive!

  • spiritwarriorwoman1 Jun 4, 2007

    Good grief! Some of the comments here make me wonder if the civil war will ever end.

    Blaming transplants for the accidents is like blaming the ants when they get into your picnic lunch. Things just happen! They don't always have to have a culprit or a reason.

    The crux of this story isn't about blame anyway, it should be about praising God that no one was seriously hurt. Praise God!!!

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • spiritwarriorwoman1 Jun 4, 2007

    knelsud92 -

    You made some excellent points. Had the bus driver not been following so closely to the car which panic stopped in front of him, well...the outcome may have been far different.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • dakota_loves_me Jun 4, 2007

    Most people would think that when a bus stops that others will too!

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