Mother hit and killed by car at Union County school bus stop, deputies say

UNION COUNTY, N.C. — Deputies and state troopers were investigating after a woman was struck and killed by a vehicle near a school bus stop in Union County early Thursday morning.

Family members identified Hanna Gosney, 46, as the woman killed. She was a mother of five children and grandmother of six grandchildren.

(Hanna Gosney)

Officials told Channel 9 that around 6:45 a.m. Gosney was dropping off her 6-year-old son and 11-year-old step granddaughter at a school bus stop on State Line Road, near Highway 601 and the North Carolina-South Carolina state line.

Family members told Channel 9 that Gosney would drop the children off at the bus stop every morning.

Officials said the children got on the bus and that the bus pulled away but then stopped a few feet later when the driver realized the 6-year-old boy was not sitting down. Troopers said he was arguing with another child over their assigned seats.

Gosney was on the other side of the road when she noticed that the bus had stopped. Investigators said Gosney became alarmed and tried to speak to the bus driver about what was going on. The driver apparently opened the main doors to speak with Gosney but they could not hear each other.

That's when Gosney stepped into the road and investigators said she was standing in the middle of the road when she was hit by a vehicle heading west.

Gosney was pronounced dead at the scene.

"I didn't believe it until I got here and I seen her laying in the ground and they had to put her in an ambulance," said Gosney's daughter Jessica Rice.

James Knotts is the father of Gosney's son on the bus. He was told the tragic news while at work.

"Police came to my job telling me I need to go home, that there's been a pedestrian hit at my house," Knotts said.

Officials told Channel 9 that the bus did not have its flashing stop signal lights on when the collision happened.

The driver of the car that hit Gosney was identified as 30-year-old Debra Burr, an assistant teacher at another school in the county who was on her way to work.

Officials told Channel 9 that she was not exceeding the speed limit and that no charges would be filed against her.

School officials said the bus was headed to Union Elementary School and had nine other students onboard at the time.

Those students were taken to school and counselors were being made available to them.

Family members said that Gosney was a dedicated mother who would do anything for her children.

Channel 9 spoke with Gosney’s twin sister, Lynda Harmon, who was trying to stay strong during such a difficult morning.

“She passed -- I can't do this, I'm sorry,” Harmon said. “How do you say goodbye to somebody? How do you do it?”

Channel 9 asked school officials about the bus driver stopping in the road with no lights on, opening the door and talking to someone on the side of the road. The district said it's part of an investigation the school transportation department is doing, but the bus driver is working and there are no personnel issues.

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