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Bus driver found at fault in wreck that injured firefighter

A Wake County school bus driver crossed the center line in a Friday wreck that injured a Raleigh firefighter, a state Highway Patrol trooper said Tuesday.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina Highway Patrol said Tuesday that a Wake County school bus driver was at fault in a wreck last week that critically injured an off-duty Raleigh firefighter.

Sgt. Jeff Gordon said the school bus, driven by Sheila Wimbush Hall, 52, of Garner, crossed the center line and collided with a westbound station wagon on Ligon Mill Road near Louisburg Road.

The bus, carrying students from Southeast Raleigh High School and Centennial Middle School, then continued into the oncoming lane, striking a pickup truck driven by Lt. Harry P. "Flip" Kissinger IV, 35, of Wake Forest.

Neither alcohol nor speed was a factor in the wreck, and charges are still pending, Gordon said.

Authorities said the bus ended up in a ditch off the left side of the road, with the cab of the pickup crushed beneath it. It took rescuers about 45 minutes to extricate Kissinger from the truck.

Kissinger was listed in critical condition Tuesday afternoon at WakeMed's intensive care unit. He is being treated for serious injuries, including head trauma, according to Raleigh Assistant Fire Chief Rusty Styons.

The driver of the station wagon, Angelica Perry, 23, of Raleigh, suffered minor injuries in the wreck. Her car ended up in a driveway on the opposite side of the road.

None of the students were injured, authorities said.

Hall, who was hired by the Wake County Public School System in May 2006, is suspended with pay, pending the outcome of the state Highway Patrol's investigation, a school system spokesman said.

Multiple attempts since Friday to reach Hall have been unsuccessful.

Kissinger is a lieutenant at Fire Station 6, at Oberlin and Fairview roads in Raleigh, and has been with the department for 12 years, Styons said. Recently, he has been working to make captain's rank.


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