Local News

School bus driver pleads guilty in fatal crash

Posted September 24, 2009 1:36 p.m. EDT
Updated September 24, 2009 6:56 p.m. EDT

— A school bus driver in Wake County pleaded guilty Thursday in a wreck earlier this year that killed a former Marine.

Trumeka Deon Wilson, of 133 Hunt Club Lane, Apt. B in Raleigh, was charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle in the Jan. 5 crash that killed Lincoln Ross Woods, 25, of Cary.

She pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless and reckless driving and was given a 30-day suspended jail sentence and 18 months of unsupervised probation.

Police said Wilson had dropped off students at Cedar Fork Elementary School and was traveling westbound on Morrisville-Carpenter Road when the bus ran off the right side of the road.

She over-corrected, crossed the center line and struck the driver's side of Woods' Jeep Grand Cherokee, police said.

Wilson said she was swerving to avoid hitting a Ford Taurus that witnesses said ran a stop sign. Investigators later determined that the Taurus wasn't a contributing factor to the wreck.

A U.S. Marine who served in Iraq, Woods was working as an air-traffic controller at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. He left behind a wife, who was pregnant at the time.

Woods' widow declined to comment after the hearing but spoke with Wilson privately after the hearing.

"It's been hard on her. She has to live with it every day," Wilson's attorney James Crouch said. "You know, time heals many things, but time will probably never completely heal this."