School bus, SUV carrying students collide in Knightdale
Posted May 27, 2015
Knightdale, N.C. — A school bus and an SUV carrying students collided Wednesday morning in Knightdale.
A Ford Expedition that is a contract school transportation vehicle ran off the right side of Smithfield Road near Meadow Run shortly before 9 a.m. and over-corrected, according to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. The Expedition then crossed the center line, colliding with a school bus, and the impact knocked the SUV on its side.
The SUV driver, Benita Knight, 21, of Raleigh, and three children in the vehicle were taken to WakeMed as a precaution, troopers said. School bus driver Lee Verne Murphy, 51, of Knightdale, also was taken to WakeMed, while school bus passenger Hattie Holder, 76, of Zebulon, was taken to Rex Hospital.
All of the injuries were minor, troopers said.
"It absolutely could have been worse," Sgt. Joseph Sharlow said. "Anytime you have something with children involved, obviously, it's more tragic, and you hate to see innocent lives be hurt for no reason at all."
Zell Lucas, owner of Lucas Transportation, the company that owns the SUV, said he rushed to the scene as soon as he learned of the crash.
"My main concern was checking all the kids," he said. "I took the little boy, the youngest one, out and held him in my arms. He recognized me right there. He was OK."
The school bus had damage to its front end and was smoking.
"I heard like a boom, like a small car accident," said John Watson, who lives nearby. "I didn't think it was something real bad, but it was kind of bad when I walked up here."
Knight was charged with failing to maintain lane control and driving left of center, troopers said.