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Students shaken up in Johnston bus wreck

Posted October 30, 2008

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— A Johnston County school bus carrying 16 children crashed on Antioch Church Road near N.C. Highway 39 in Middlesex Thursday morning, according to authorities.

The bus, No. 132, was headed to Corinth-Holders Elementary School.

Four children and the driver were taken to a WakeMed facility in Johnston County as a precaution, authorities said.

Parents picked up two other children, and another bus took the remaining 10 children to school , authorities said.

The driver, whose name wasn't released, drove off the shoulder of the road and hit two mailboxes and a large rock before coming to a stop, authorities said. The wreck caused extensive damage to the front end of the bus.

Holly Gearin, 10, was in the back of the bus and said she and some of her classmates bounced so high they almost hit the roof.

"They were screaming and crying," said Holly, who was one of the students taken to the hospital.

"When (the bus) stopped, I was in the middle of the aisle ... and my nose was bleeding and I got a big bruise," she said.

Her mother said she was heading to the hospital when she passed the wrecked bus being towed on Interstate 95.

"These are our kids and someone else is responsible for them, and if they can't drive, if they can't pay attention – like you see here it's a mess, I've never seen anything like it," Cheryl Gearin said.

The driver will be charged with failure to maintain lane, authorities said.

14 Comments

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  • OHn8tive Oct 31, 2008

    There is a lot more to the story. Before pointing fingers, we should wait for all of the details. It could have been because of another driver crossing the center line (which happens frequently on the back roads in JC). Or it could be exhaustion! As stated in earlier posts, many drivers work as TAs, custodians, or cafeteria workers. So they not only work 8 hours, but also drive a bus. Sometimes it is morning and afternoon. One driver of an EC bus has to get up at 3:30 to get her bus, drive to the children's homes and get them to school on time. This is ridiculous! Please do not assume that they are doing something wrong. These people love children VERY much (why else would they work so hard for so little!) and would never do anything to intentionally harm any of them.
    Please do not jump to conclusions.

  • slydog Oct 30, 2008

    Maybe if the kids would sit in their seats so the driver wouldn’t be distracted this might not have happened.

  • JustaCitizen Oct 30, 2008

    Maybe if there had been seatbelts in the bus no one wouzld have been "bounced" from their seat. I'm sure the driver was restrained, why not our kids??

  • ashandcamsmom Oct 30, 2008

    I dont let my daughter ride the bus for this reason...maybe she was on the phone...i realize they are not SUPPOSED to be using their cell but its happens...

  • thought Oct 30, 2008

    I was told about the bus drivers /teacher asst. I was floored when I heard that. The hours and stuff must be too much. JC needs to change that.
    The roads in JC are curvy - but also too many fast drivers. Maybe the driver tried to avoid someone- or tired because of the hours- not trained -kids distractions- too many possibilties- I know I have seen many cars fly past busses because they don't move fast enough. I just hope all are ok- and peopel get the hint

  • Sir Narron OF Johnston Oct 30, 2008

    When I was in school, my bus went down this road everyday, this is a curvy road. it has a low shoulder that could have came in to play a role in this wreck

    Johnston is growing .and our country roads can not handle all the traffic that is on them now ...

    my dream of the northerners going home is a lost cause

  • Redneck_Bob Oct 30, 2008

    Never had this many bus wrecks when the high schoolers were driving the buses.

  • newfamily2001 Oct 30, 2008

    This is why my kids don't ride a bus

  • RICKJAMES Oct 30, 2008

    You never know, this may be one of those cases where cell phone use or text messaging use comes in to play. JMO

  • lookin4clowd9 Oct 30, 2008

    I'm not evaluating the skills of the driver because I don't know if they played a factor or not. What I do know is that in Johnston County, Teacher assistants are required to be willing to drive a bus. If this driver is in fact a TA and typically works a full day after the morning route and before the afternoon, he/she could have been sleepy, and justifiably so. Also, many teachers and TA's have night jobs because of the pay! I hope everyone involved is alright!

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