Local News

Bus Driver Cited In Accident That Injured 39 Students

Posted September 13, 2006 7:54 a.m. EDT

— The driver of a Johnston County school bus that overturned last week while carrying more than 40 students was cited this week for not staying in his lane.

The single-vehicle accident happened at about 3:30 p.m. Friday on Highway 96 at Old Beulah Road when the bus flipped over into a ditch. Thirty-nine students from Selma Middle School and Selma Elementary School were treated at local hospitals for minor injuries.

The accident report said driver, Kenneth Jackson, ran the bus off the right side of the road and struck a mailbox. It said Jackson then overcorrected, went left of center, and ran off the other side of the road, where the bus flipped.

Jackson, who got his commercial driver's license to drive a bus about a year ago, told investigators he saw something in the road and swerved to avoid it.

"This particular bus driver was also a teacher's assistant, so, he is not driving at this time because of the ongoing investigation, but he is still working for Johnston County schools as a teacher's assistant," Johnston County Schools spokeswoman Crystal Roberts said.

Roberts also said the school system is conducting an internal investigation of the driver and the accident as part of its standard policy.

"Our question would be, 'How could we avoid something like this?'" Roberts said.