Union County, NC : 21 Students injured in bus crash in Union County on Monday morning, January 5, 2015
More than twenty students, 2 school bus drivers, a woman and a toddler were injured after two school buses crashed in separate incidents in Union County on Monday morning.
According to school officials, 21 students and the driver of Bus #167, Jennifer Blake, had minor injuries after a school bus with students on board collided with a Toyota minivan in Indian Trail. They were taken to CMC Union hospital.
School officials say the bus was taking students to Piedmont Middle and High School.
Investigators say that just before 8 a.m. Blake drove the bus off the northbound shoulder of Unionville Indian Trail Road, overcorrected, and traveled left of the center line. That's when officials say the bus overturned and hit the minivan that was traveling south.
Students were seen walking around and other patients were seen being treated for injuries.
"It was a horrific site this morning," Witness Alison Woodbury said. "I saw the bus. The back side of the bus go off the road. She started swerving, tried to over correct and went over the double yellow line into the SUV. The SUV never had time to react."
The driver of the minivan, Stacie Pressley, was flown to CMC Main in Charlotte with serious injuries. A two-year-old child was inside the minivan with Pressley and was also taken to CMC Main with minor injuries.
Woodbury took care of the two-year-old until emergency crews arrived. She kept the toddler in the site of the mother.
"My mind was to let her know," Woodbury said. "Another mother had her baby and she was safe."
The bus driver told troopers she believes her steering malfunctioned and caused her to lose control of the bus. Troopers say they will check that out.
The school district says Bus #167 was last inspected back on December 22. It passed and the steering was checked.
Troopers say they believe inattentiveness is to blame.
"Stay focused on the road," Trooper John Burgin said. "Don't try to multi-task when you are driving. When you multitask, you are going to get yourself in a bind."
Troopers will check what Blake was doing before crash.
In the meantime, school officials say Blake has been suspended, pending the outcome of the investigation.
Another school bus was brought to the scene to keep uninjured students warm while the incident was underway.
A second school bus crashed on McIntyre Road at Austin Chaney Road and was not occupied with students.
Officials say charges are pending upon further investigation.
21 Students, drivers, toddler injured in one of two school bus crashes in Union Co.