Local News

Cumberland County teacher killed in school bus crash near Lillington

Posted May 9
Updated May 10

— A high school teacher died Friday when his car smashed into a school bus on U.S. 401 South near Lillington.

State troopers said William Neil Parnell III, a teacher at South View High School in Hope Mills, was following the bus when the driver stopped near Stockyard Road to let off the last student from Lillington-Shawtown Elementary School.

Troopers said Parnell, 39, did not brake and plowed into the back of the bus.

Parnell, who was heading home to Lillington from work, died at the scene. No passengers were in the car.

Patricia Harmon, spokeswoman for the Harnett County School District, said the bus driver and student were not hurt. The bus driver's child, who was aboard the bus, was also unhurt.

The crash remains under investigation.

6 Comments

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  • Obamacare returns again May 12, 11:19 a.m.

    These buses really need to be equipped with flashing neon lights when stopped. The same type of lights they have on the strip in Las Vegas.

    Apparently the color yellow is no longer getting the job done in terms of visibility. Sad that a life was lost here and may this man rest in peace.

  • djofraleigh May 12, 10:40 a.m.

    Does the state have the right and do the investigators look into phone records, etc. to see what distracted this poor guy? He had to have been looking away, or asleep or something to explain this accident. He was not under the influence or some kind of bad driver. It's tragic.

  • daisy May 12, 9:46 a.m.

    So sad. Southview High School students, staff and families have lost another loved one. Whether he was texting or not is not the point. He was someone's loved one and teacher. RIP

  • BigBrokeBill May 9, 7:56 p.m.

    I'd be interested in what model car he was driving. Unexplained acceleration killed several drivers and was never fully explained. They should have never taken out the mechanical linkage between the gas pedal and the accelerator on the engine.

  • bluford2 May 9, 6:59 p.m.

    Happened to me on Highway 210 Buies Creek last year - a texting and driving woman smashed my car into the back of a stopped school bus full of kids. No one could understand how you couldn't see the big yellow school bus with flashing lights and the stop arm out.

    It happens - I just wish people would just pay attention to the road, the cell phone can wait and the life you end may not just be your own - but other innocent people.

  • scubagirl2 May 9, 5:38 p.m.

    condolences to the family of the car driver, but how does one NOT see a stopped school bus in broad daylight on a straight road?