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School bus driver pleads guilty in fatal crash

Posted September 24, 2009

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— A school bus driver in Wake County pleaded guilty Thursday in a wreck earlier this year that killed a former Marine.

Trumeka Deon Wilson, of 133 Hunt Club Lane, Apt. B in Raleigh, was charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle in the Jan. 5 crash that killed Lincoln Ross Woods, 25, of Cary.

School bus driver pleads guilty in fatal crash School bus driver pleads guilty in fatal crash

She pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless and reckless driving and was given a 30-day suspended jail sentence and 18 months of unsupervised probation.

Police said Wilson had dropped off students at Cedar Fork Elementary School and was traveling westbound on Morrisville-Carpenter Road when the bus ran off the right side of the road.

She over-corrected, crossed the center line and struck the driver's side of Woods' Jeep Grand Cherokee, police said.

Wilson said she was swerving to avoid hitting a Ford Taurus that witnesses said ran a stop sign. Investigators later determined that the Taurus wasn't a contributing factor to the wreck.

A U.S. Marine who served in Iraq, Woods was working as an air-traffic controller at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. He left behind a wife, who was pregnant at the time.

Woods' widow declined to comment after the hearing but spoke with Wilson privately after the hearing.

"It's been hard on her. She has to live with it every day," Wilson's attorney James Crouch said. "You know, time heals many things, but time will probably never completely heal this."

42 Comments

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  • Professor Sep 25, 2009

    Lets put the high school seniors back driving the school buses. They would probably be better than some adults.

  • fishon Sep 25, 2009

    Police said Wilson had dropped off students at Cedar Fork Elementary School and was traveling westbound on Morrisville-Carpenter Road when the bus ran off the right side of the road.

    She over-corrected, crossed the center line and struck the driver's side of Woods' Jeep Grand Cherokee, police said.

    This is indicative of little or no training. When dropping a wheel (running off the side of the road) in a large vehicle the course of action is to come to a stop and then when safe pull back onto the road. It is nearly impossible to do what the driver did and stay in your own lane. Been there, done that, in training at a Halliburton Site near Tulsa OK.

  • SPEAK 1 Sep 25, 2009

    I find this story incomplete.. Was the person driving the ford charged with something. The bus driver hit the Jeep, killing the driver (sorry to hear that). The bus driver over corrected after driving off the road to avoid hitting the ford.. Seems it was an accident. She should not have been charged . The eye witnessed stated she the ran off the road to avoid the ford.. What she should have hit the ford instead. The investigator stated the ford running the stop sign was not a factor in her driving off of the road.. HUM.. Eye witness.. after the face cop conclusion

  • mjones3 Sep 25, 2009

    Choirgirl and KermitDFrog: I certainly share in your sentiments. She did not commit murder as some on this forum are basically implying. Certainly she made a mistake.....that is why it is called an "accident" not an "on purpose" people!
    This is a very sad story for all involved. My thoughts and prayers are extended to both families.

  • strawberrysw4 Sep 25, 2009

    I'm sure living with the fact you killed someone is much worse than any jail time.

    My heart breaks for the wife. Prayers to everyone involved.

  • Sessy V--V Sep 25, 2009

    " A U.S. Marine who served in Iraq, he left behind a wife, who was pregnant at the time"

    My heart aches for his wife, family and friends.

    Sad to hear he survived Iraq but was killed in America due to a wreckless driver.

    So so sad.

  • Stringbean Sep 24, 2009

    You kill someone and get charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and thats all you get??????? MY GOD WE NEED A NEW SYSTEM! Its plan and simple that the one we have is not working.We let all the wrong people out and we don't put in the right ones. Lord help us.

  • NCStatePack Sep 24, 2009

    "Im sorry but this doesnt sound like much of punishment to me, she kill a marine, she was driving too fast and not payin attention to what she was doing all because she was ready to get off work and go home, this is sad...." - bluetarheel21

    FINALLY somebody knows exactly what the bus driver was doing before the accident! I've been waiting for that all during the discussion, so thank you. I can now leave the forum with my mind made up knowing this information!

  • bonnnie Sep 24, 2009

    I don't think there was any justice here either and time will never heel this.

  • KermitDFrog Sep 24, 2009

    Most accidents are caused by driver error. Very few accidents are attributed to mechanical failure. It could have been me or you that crossed that center line. No one goes out "planning" to have an accident. I agree that it is interesting who gets 'charge' and who just gets a ticket. For all of the Perfect drivers who have condemned the bus driver - I congratulate you on your perfection, although I think most of us are just lucky.

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