Local News

Wake School Bus Driver Placed On Leave After Crash With TTA Van That Injured 16

Posted February 21, 2002 6:56 a.m. EST

— A Wake County school bus driver has been placed on leave and could face charges after the bus he was driving collided with a commuter van, leaving four passengers in critical condition and 16 people injured Tuesday morning.

Erskine Bullock, 54, is on paid leave while his driving record is reviewed.

According to state records, Bullock was convicted of seven moving violations between 1979 and 1999. Six of those were for speeding and one was for illegal passing. Two of the violations occurred since he has been working for Wake County Schools.

Bullock has been a school bus driver for 23 years and has been working for the Wake County school system since 1986. He was honored several times as bus driver of the year.

The crash occurred around 7:25 a.m. Tuesday at the intersection of Rock Quarry Road and Raleigh Boulevard.

The bus was headed to

Longview School

when it collided with the TTA van, which originated in Smithfield.

Raleigh police say that the bus ran a red light, but charges have not yet been filed.

Bullock, a bus monitor and the six students on board the bus were not seriously injured, but were all taken to Raleigh Community Hospital as a precaution. Officials there say the students were treated for cuts and bruises and released.

"A school bus is one of the safest vehicles around," said Stella Shelton, a spokesperson for Wake County Schools. "When they roll over, the kids are compartmentalized in terms of the way they're seated in the bus. There are high padded seats that keep them from bouncing all over the bus if it rolls over. You can look at the level of damage to the bus itself and realize that even in a horrible situation like an accident, it's a very safe vehicle."

Eight people were on the TTA van, many of them state employees. They were all transported to WakeMed with serious injuries.

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