Local News

Students shaken up in Johnston bus wreck

Posted October 30, 2008 8:22 a.m. EDT
Updated October 30, 2008 12:05 p.m. EDT

— A Johnston County school bus carrying 16 children crashed on Antioch Church Road near N.C. Highway 39 in Middlesex Thursday morning, according to authorities.

The bus, No. 132, was headed to Corinth-Holders Elementary School.

Four children and the driver were taken to a WakeMed facility in Johnston County as a precaution, authorities said.

Parents picked up two other children, and another bus took the remaining 10 children to school , authorities said.

The driver, whose name wasn't released, drove off the shoulder of the road and hit two mailboxes and a large rock before coming to a stop, authorities said. The wreck caused extensive damage to the front end of the bus.

Holly Gearin, 10, was in the back of the bus and said she and some of her classmates bounced so high they almost hit the roof.

"They were screaming and crying," said Holly, who was one of the students taken to the hospital.

"When (the bus) stopped, I was in the middle of the aisle ... and my nose was bleeding and I got a big bruise," she said.

Her mother said she was heading to the hospital when she passed the wrecked bus being towed on Interstate 95.

"These are our kids and someone else is responsible for them, and if they can't drive, if they can't pay attention – like you see here it's a mess, I've never seen anything like it," Cheryl Gearin said.

The driver will be charged with failure to maintain lane, authorities said.