Local News

School Buses Crash Near Selma; 27 Injured

Posted November 7, 2007
Updated November 8, 2007

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— Two school buses collided at about 4 p.m. Wednesday along the 1500 block of Highway 96 in Johnston County near Selma, sending 27 students to two hospitals with apparently moderate or minor injuries.

Bus 158 rear-ended bus 209. The impact knocked off the front-end of one bus and caved-in the back of the other.

“The bus in front of us was slowing down and the bus behind it was slowing down and the glass broke and everything,”  student Anthony Alford said.

Sixty-five students were on the buses, authorities said.  Ten ambulances were requested to transport the students who needed medical care.

Rescue workers took 24 children and a bus driver to Johnston Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, authorities said. Everyone except for one student was released by Monday night.

Two students were taken to WakeMed, but their injuries also were believed to be non-life-threatening. One student was released.

“We did find some children who had minor scrapes and bruises, upset, things of that nature,” EMS Coordinator Patrick Cogdell said.

School officials immediately notified the parents of the injured students.

“You get to the school. You hear two different things. I didn't know. I was worried. I was trying to get to him,” parent Katrina Williams said.

The driver of a third bus had to slam on his brakes to avoid the other buses. No children on that bus were hurt.

According to Jennifer Moore, principal of Selma Middle School, the buses were from Selma Middle School and Selma Elementary School.

Uninjured students were loaded onto other buses and taken to nearby Selma Elementary School, where they were reunited with their parents.

“I wish it never happened. It was scary, just scary,” student Malcolm Williams said.

Johnston County Schools spokeswoman Crystal Roberts said counselors will be available Thursday at both schools.

The bus drivers involved in the accident have been pulled off their routes pending the outcome of an investigation into the crash. They will also undergo drug and alcohol tests, Roberts said.

The accident shut down Highway 96 for more than two hours.