Local News

Driver expected to surrender in bus stop wreck

Posted March 16, 2009

— Cary police said they expect Rita Braman to surrender on charges that she failed to stop for a school bus and hit a Carnage Middle School student last week. It vwas unclear when she would turn herself in, however

Joey Liptak, 12, was crossing Penny Road at Crickentree Drive Friday morning when Braman, driving a burgundy Ford Ranger pickup truck struck him.

Liptak was in good condition at WakeMed Monday.

Braman, 50, and a male passenger stopped and waited with the boy until paramedics arrived, police said. She talked to officers at the scene and was later treated for stress and anxiety over the incident.

Police said the school bus' safety arm was out and its lights were flashing when the crash occurred. Braman was driving in the opposite direction of the school bus.

Neighbors said Liptak and other students were waiting for the school bus outside Oak Grove Elementary School. The bus was late, so they crossed Penny Road to get a ride from a parent. Before they got into a car, though, the bus arrived.

Bus-stop wreck injures boy, 12 Bus-stop wreck injures boy, 12

The students were re-crossing Penny Road to return to the bus when the pickup hit Liptak.

In North Carolina, passing a stopped school bus carries a fine of up to $200, five driver's license points and up to 90 days in jail. A conviction usually means a 90 percent increase in a driver's insurance rates, according to the Web site of the state Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.

In 2005, state law made it a felony to pass a school bus and strike a person, “causing serious bodily injury.”

Wake Schools spokesman Michael Evans said Friday that in light of the crash, a transportation advisory committee will review the safety of the bus stop.

“We need to look into that and see what the circumstances are around those decisions,” Evans said.


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  • russh198 Mar 17, 2009

    The map linked to this story shows it's a 4 lane road with a turn lane. Therefore, she didn't need to stop. Unfortunately, it's the kids fault.

  • Alexia.1 Mar 16, 2009

    Was the bus stopped, or just lights flashing on approach? It's a very dangerous thing for a bus to have a stop sign extended and be moving at the same time. I wonder if there simply wasn't time to stop?

  • dont_get_it_twisted Mar 16, 2009

    The fact that she did stop after the accident is good. However EVERYONE should slow down and expect anything in any area around ANY school. Especially with "BLINKING LIGHTS". Perhaps it is just me and I am that sort person, rather than have to stress about this sort of situation, I just slow down and pay extra attention.

    Yes there were kids crossing the street, possibly illegally to the parents car. Then the bus comes and they run back towards the bus. Even though it was early and the weather possibly a being part of the of it. It seems this whole situation could have been avoided.

    We as adults always say that children/teen/ young adults act and do things as if there are invincible. Same can be said of adults who find themselves in this sort of sitution.
    If she was not ready to be driving and BEING ALERT in that area perhaps she should not have been driving.

  • cocker_mom Mar 16, 2009

    I guess I have a couple of questions. Like - how far in front of the bus were they crossing? Is it possible that she was in the process of stopping and they were crossing so far in front of the bus that it was outside the "space" that you are supposed to leave for kids crossing? Since the parents were across the street - we don't know if the bus was directly across from them or not.

    I could see this as a terrible accident where she would not be at fault if say the kids were crossing the street at 100 feet in front of the bus and she was planning on stopping 50 feet in front of the bus, etc.

    It does sound like there were confusions here - since the parents were on the same side of the street that she was (she was head on to the bus, right?) how far off the side of the road were they Did the kids run out from behind their car, making it impossible to see that someone was getting ready to cross?

    Looking for more info....

  • HappyGirl08 Mar 16, 2009

    Well was the bus actually stopped at the time? The description of how the children went back and forth across the rd was a little confusing. I know the buses I see in the mornings seem to slow down but its forever before the lights and stop sign come out. Its possible the bus wasn't fully stopped when she went past it and she saw the child too late. Either way its a shame and I'm glad the child is going to recover.

  • itsnotmeiswear Mar 16, 2009

    I feel sorry for the child and the ladt that hit him. I tis obvious that she feels badly for her mistake. I'm glad it appears the child will recover.

    It don't know it to be an issue in this case, but bus drivers need to do a better job of controlling the pickup spot. The bus that picks up my kids, stops at a T-intersection. they can only control traffic in two direction not three. The kids down the street get picked up at a 4-way intersection. The stop should be in the middle of the block. The kids also should know not to cross the street unitl the door is open and the arm in front of the bus swings out. This gives the driver a chance to check for traffic control. I know kids will be kids but a good driver should make it very clear what is expected and drive it home at every exception.

  • Tired of thoughtlessness Mar 16, 2009

    Who cares about an arm? There are 2 sets of lights. Amber, to let you know a stop is coming soon, and it seems that the bus drivers turn these on as they are slowing down; and red, which means STOP. Not yield, accelerate to by-pass, STOP. What if she didnt "notice" the red stop light?
    Yes, everyone makes mistakes, but to the extent of putting someone ELSE's life in danger? Just because you didnt "know" or care to follow the rules?
    You cant claim ignorance here. Not when you know a school bus is picking up CHILDREN.

  • RonnieR Mar 16, 2009

    LKIA, I was answering Prozac, who said the driver "ran over a kid and never stopped". I KNOW that she didn't stop for the bus, but she did stop after the crash. Read the thread more closely next time.

  • Randy Cox Mar 16, 2009


    Those flashing lights are hard to miss.

  • Randy Cox Mar 16, 2009

    I agree with Z. I feel bad for everyone involved. I can't imagine the guilt that woman is probably feeling about what she did.