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Minivan Driver Charged in School Bus Crash

Posted February 22, 2008

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— Police charged the driver of a minivan involved with a school bus in a wreck that sent 14 middle-school students and the bus driver to the hospital Friday.

The bus was heading to Durant Road Middle School when the crashed happened at the intersection of Old Wake Forest Road and Oak Forest Road at 7 a.m.

Some students complained of soreness, but none of their injuries was considered life-threatening, school officials said. They were sent to the hospital as a precaution.

Lorine Harris, 57, of Wake Forest, told police she drove her 2007 Chrysler minivan through a green light on Old Wake Forest Road. The driver of the school bus said she also had a green light to turn left onto Old Wake Forest Road from Oak Forest Road.

Witnesses told police that the school bus had a green light and that Harris ran a red light. Police charged Harris with a red-light violation.

The impact of the collision propelled the minivan 100 feet and off the left side of Old Wake Forest Road.

The accident report indicates that Harris was originally traveling at 45 mph and slowed to 30 mph at the point of collision. The bus driver was traveling at 15 mph and slowed to 5 mph.

The speed limit in that area is 45 mph.

Harris refused medical treatment and was OK, officials said.

Thirty-one students were on the bus. Those who were uninjured were taken to school on another bus.

62 Comments

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  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Feb 22, 2008

    Yep, all good points. Maybe I'm fooling myself but I really don't feel distracted at all while on my phone. Good discussion, I'm signing off... Have a great weekend everybody!

  • Harrison Bergeron Feb 22, 2008

    "HarrisonB...I still think you can force yourself to focus on driving above most activities while driving if you try."

    Good luck with that. ;-)

    "If cell phones are shown to be a distraction based solely on the basis of not being able to see the other person, as the study claimed, than wouldn't talking to someone in the back seat or even the seat next to you while watching the road, be just as distracting?"-fl2nc2ca2md2nc

    I don't recall if that was part of the study. However, personally, I believe there are some issues here to consider. First, one occasionally looks at the person while seated next to them or behind them in the rear view mirror. Second, peripheral vision allows you to collect some of the body language data. Finally, a passenger is a second set of eyes that is also looking in front of you.

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Feb 22, 2008

    HarrisonB, not sure if you are still on here but I just saw your answer to my comments on cell phones and driving.

    I'm not sure I would agree but that study you referenced is compelling... I still think you can force yourself to focus on driving above most activities while driving if you try.

    The problem is that we, as a society, like to selectively ban activities and/or freedoms based on the collective whims of society.

    If cell phones are shown to be a distraction based solely on the basis of not being able to see the other person, as the study claimed, than wouldn't talking to someone in the back seat or even the seat next to you while watching the road, be just as distracting? If so, are we to ban conversation in moving vehicles?

    And again, we already have laws against distracted driving. These should be adequate, we don't need to further erode our freedoms as both parties seem to be doing more and more of.

  • foxyladync Feb 22, 2008

    "send the little beggars home and if by chance they have a closed head injury or a soft belly then we are better off removing these whiners from the gene pool....." as per seankelly15

    A comment like that can only come from someone who has not and will not contribute to the genepool himself.

  • 37 Feb 22, 2008

    Notorious THC, how far do you think 10 yards is?

  • foxyladync Feb 22, 2008

    I sit here and I question if "judge's" statements even dignify a response. Are you just being silly like one of my kids or is the answer to your question(s) not obvious? There is a huge difference between the impact an unprotected body will take vs. another vehicle, no matter the size, as opposed to the impact suffered when you are in a vehicle and it is a vehicle to vehicle crash. Yes, I know every crash is different, but look at the big picture. Even though buses do not have seatbelts and airbags, they are one of the larger vehicles out there. I am no expert in the statistics on head injuries as a result of being on a bus during a collision, but I feel pretty safe in saying that it must be pretty low. In any case, it has to be phenomenally lower than the statistics for head injury due to a person having a collision while riding a motorcycle and wearing no helmet. I believe there are four states in the USA that allow riding w/ no helmet. Check 'em out.

  • Space Mountain Feb 22, 2008

    I don't know what this intersection is like, but I have been at ones where another light was only 10 yards away, and there can be an optical illusion with the lights. You think you are looking at your light but it's really the next light 10 yards up ahead. And if both lights are not on the same cycle, which makes no sense, it can create trouble. You think your light is green, but it's really the light 10 yards up ahead. Not saying this is what happened here. Just saying it has happened to me before.

  • Harrison Bergeron Feb 22, 2008

    "there is a warning that the light is about to turn red... it's called the yellow light. There is NO reason to run a red light or even be close to running a red light. Yellow light.. SLOW DOWN and prepare to stop." -kenshi

    True, but on a side note, there has been a tendency to shorten yellow light cycles at very busy intersections. I always wonder what, if any, contribution this makes in the frequency of crashes.

  • kenshi Feb 22, 2008

    Point of fact.... there is a warning that the light is about to turn red... it's called the yellow light. There is NO reason to run a red light or even be close to running a red light. Yellow light.. SLOW DOWN and prepare to stop.

  • whatusay Feb 22, 2008

    Accidents are caused...they do not happen by themselves. Someone is always at fault. I am right - you are wrong, or you are right - I am wrong. The driver of the minivan says she had a green light, the bus driver says she had a green light. Someone is not telling the truth.

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