Pickup truck driver charged after allegedly causing school bus wreck

Pickup truck driver charged after allegedly causing school bus wreck

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — The driver of a pickup truck was charged after troopers said he or she caused an accident involving a school bus on Dallas High Shoals Highway in Gaston County Friday afternoon.

Police said the pickup truck tried to pass the bus but overcorrected when hitting a double yellow line.

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Officials said that vehicle crashed in front of a dump truck, causing the driver of the dump truck to lose control and slam into the side of the bus.

Officials with Gaston County schools said the bus from W.C. Friday Middle School in Dallas had 27 students on board at the time of the crash.

Police said one child had a cut on her face and was treated at the scene.

The driver of the pickup truck was charged with:

  • Improper passing
  • Improper equipment, because the tires were slick
  • Reckless driving

Officials said the driver of the pickup truck had minor injuries. The school bus driver and dump truck driver were not hurt.

Neighbor Samantha Bell is a nurse aid and was one of the first on scene to help treat those hurt in the crash.

"Whenever I looked out the window, I saw it, took off running, grabbed my stethoscope, and ran down there," Bell said. "Just to see the kids, you know, they were so shaken up and you know bleeding and just crying and the bus driver, she had blood splatter on her. I'm glad it turned out the way it did and no one was seriously hurt because it could have turned out a lot worse."

Students who spoke with Channel 9 said they trusted their bus driver would keep them safe.

"I didn't know what was happening and everybody was just screaming," student Ronnie Madrid said. "She cares about us and worries about us every single day and she does her best to move the bus in the safest way she can."

Check back for updates on this developing story.