Local News

School Bus Accident in Wayne County Injures Some

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GOLDSBORO — The driver of a bus which was involved inan accident Monday in Wayne County faces two traffic charges.

The state HighwayPatrol says 27-year-old Melissa Gay Ulmer was charged with driving on thewrong side of the road and exceeding a safe speed.

According to Trooper B.L. Quinn, the bus ran off a rural paved road onthe left, came back across the road, struck a culvert and overturned.

The patrol said 25 children -- mostly 3- to 5-year-olds -- wereinjured. Most suffered cuts andabrasions, although officials at Wayne Memorial Hospital say two childrensuffered broken bones. All have now been released from the hospital.

The Project Head Start school bus, carrying 21 preschool children,five adults and four infants, overturned before 9:30 a.m. Monday.

The accident occurred as the bus was bound for thePikeville Center which is on the grounds of the old Pikeville ElementarySchool.

Nearby residents rushed out of their houses to help get everyone out ofthe bus. Hubert Ferrell was among them and said he didn't know what hadhappened at first.

Many residents of the area near the accident said there have been manyaccidents and close calls on that curve.

Sgt. J.D. Booth of the Highway Patrol says there didn't appear to beany serious injuries.

Hospital spokesperson Jo Carol Torrez told WRAL TV5'sBret Baier that extra staff was broughtin when they heard about the accident.

According to a Headstart spokesperson, all passengers on the bus wereeither wearing seatbelts or in child-restraint seats. Police saythere might have been a very different outcome if they had not.

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