Local News

Driver expected to surrender in bus stop wreck

Posted March 16, 2009 11:28 a.m. EDT
Updated March 16, 2009 4:29 p.m. EDT

— Cary police said they expect Rita Braman to surrender on charges that she failed to stop for a school bus and hit a Carnage Middle School student last week. It vwas unclear when she would turn herself in, however

Joey Liptak, 12, was crossing Penny Road at Crickentree Drive Friday morning when Braman, driving a burgundy Ford Ranger pickup truck struck him.

Liptak was in good condition at WakeMed Monday.

Braman, 50, and a male passenger stopped and waited with the boy until paramedics arrived, police said. She talked to officers at the scene and was later treated for stress and anxiety over the incident.

Police said the school bus' safety arm was out and its lights were flashing when the crash occurred. Braman was driving in the opposite direction of the school bus.

Neighbors said Liptak and other students were waiting for the school bus outside Oak Grove Elementary School. The bus was late, so they crossed Penny Road to get a ride from a parent. Before they got into a car, though, the bus arrived.

The students were re-crossing Penny Road to return to the bus when the pickup hit Liptak.

In North Carolina, passing a stopped school bus carries a fine of up to $200, five driver's license points and up to 90 days in jail. A conviction usually means a 90 percent increase in a driver's insurance rates, according to the Web site of the state Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.

In 2005, state law made it a felony to pass a school bus and strike a person, “causing serious bodily injury.”

Wake Schools spokesman Michael Evans said Friday that in light of the crash, a transportation advisory committee will review the safety of the bus stop.

“We need to look into that and see what the circumstances are around those decisions,” Evans said.