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Parents describe panic, question handling of Wake County school bus crash

Posted April 12

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— Some parents of students at North Forest Pines Elementary School described a morning of panic as they learned their children were on a school bus that was involved in a crash near Wake Forest.

Wake County Public schools officials said the bus was hit on Ponderosa Service Road by an SUV that ran a stop sign. The vehicle crashed into the side of the bus.

Seth Komansky, chief of operations for Wake County EMS, said 34 students were on board the bus when the crash happened. Twelve students from the bus and two adults were taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries, officials said. Others were picked up by their parents and were taken to be checked out.

Despite the insignificance of the injuries, parents were shaken by the news.

"I panicked. I didn't know what to do," said Whitney Moore, who put her son on the bus at 6:45 a.m. with a special lunch for a class field trip.

Moore said she assumed her child was OK until she got a call from his teacher at nearly 9 a.m.

"She said, 'Hey, Mrs. Moore, I just wanted to know if Sean was going to come on the field trip today?' And I just took this long dramatic pause," Moore said. "I'm like, well, I put my son on the bus at 6:45 a.m., I'm under the impression that he would be at school by now."

After a round of frantic phone calls, Moore said she got a call from WakeMed saying her son, Sean, was there and that his bus had been involved in a crash.

"He said, 'Mom, we were in a crash, and I've never been in a crash before,'" Moore said.

Sean Moore described the crash as "scary."

He was one of the 12 students who were taken directly to the hospital.

"I fell out of my seat and I just hurt myself a lot," said 7-year-old Kyira Ford.

Jessica Whitt has a student in the first grade. She said receiving the call was a terrifying experience.

"I was scared to death. I got the call at work," Whitt said.

A school spokesperson said an automated call went out to parents at 9:05 a.m., explaining there had been a crash, but that the communication was delayed because the principal was on scene.

"I'm thankful my son is OK, but at the same time, it is still kind of like, I just wish I could have been notified a little earlier," Moore said.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

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  • Fred Neopolitano Apr 12, 8:25 p.m.
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    Communication was delayed? With today's technology, that doesn't make any sense to me. And I would not appreciate an 'automated call' about my child being in an accident. They need to review their policy here.