The second Edgecombe County Public Schools bus accident of the school year occurred Friday afternoon with only 14 days of school left on the academic calendar.
SouthWest Edgecombe High School bus number 286 was struck from behind by a car at about 2:50 p.m. near Wiggins Crossroad, SouthWest Edgecombe Principal John Westberg said. An N.C. Highway Patrol spokesman said none of the 40 students was injured.
“The bus was at its second stop on its route and was letting students off,” Edgecombe County Public Schools Transportation Director Tommy Hudson said. “(The bus) had its red lights flashing and stop sign out.”
The driver of the Mustang that rear-ended the bus, Ashley Norville, and the front-seat passenger, Brittany Parker, are both sophomores at the high school, Southwest Edgecombe junior John Griffin said.
Edgecombe County schools officials said both students were taken to Heritage Hospital.
Westberg said the back window and bumper of the bus were damaged, and the cost was estimated to be approximately $500. The car suffered extensive damage.
“It looked totaled,” Westberg said. “The car’s front end went underneath (the bus), and the bus’s bumper went all the way up to the car’s windshield.”
SouthWest Edgecombe administrators were at the scene with local law enforcement officers to ensure the safety of the students and investigate the cause of the accident, school officials said.
According to the school system’s standard procedures for bus accidents, driver Earl Wooten was replaced for the afternoon route and will undergo a required drug and alcohol test.