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Driver Credited With Keeping School Bus Under Control After Accident

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PIKEVILLE, N.C. — A Wayne County bus driver who helped dozens of kids survive a crash Wednesday went back to school.

Marie Smith had planned to stay home because of minor injuries, but she decided to pay a visit to Northeast Elementary since her students were worried about her.

Smith's bus hit a car Wednesday morning that troopers say had run a stop sign. A passenger in the car was killed, but none of the kids on the bus was seriously hurt.

Smith managed to keep the bus upright even after leaving the road.

"I thought I was going to lose my bus and it started turning over on one side, and I turned the wheel just as hard as I could and I hit a building," Smith said.

The car's passenger, 15-year-old Dekota Hardin, died on the way to the hospital. His mother, Charlotte, is in serious but stable condition. Troopers say charges are pending.


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