UNION COUNTY, N.C. - A Union County bus driver will be charged Tuesday following a Monday morning crash that injured more than 20 students and the occupants of a minivan, officials said.
North Carolina Highway Patrol troopers said they will charge the bus driver with driving left of center.
Officials told Channel 9 that the bus crashed in the 1500 block of Unionville-Indian Trail Road around 7:50 a.m. on the first morning back to class after winter break.
IMAGES: Overturned school bus crash in Union County
Authorities said 21 students on the bus were taken to the hospital. The driver of the bus, Jennifer Blake, and 20 of the students were taken to Carolinas Medical Center-Union with non-life-threatening injuries and one student was taken to CMC in Charlotte with serious injuries.
CHOPPER: Overturned school bus crash in Union County
The driver of the van, Stacie Pressley, and her 2-year-old child had to be rescued. Pressley, who was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center-Main, has broken legs, a broken arm and damage to her liver.
She was out of surgery Monday night, according to a friend.
"She got out of surgery not too long ago and just keeping our fingers crossed and prayers open," said Billy Eudy, a friend and neighbor.
Eudy said Pressley is a stay-at-home mom and was likely returning from dropping her two older children off at school when the crash happened.
"She's very strong, she's a fighter and if I know (Stacie) she's going to fight," said Eudy.
Kimberly Scott's daughter and son were on the bus.
"Oh my God, my heart dropped," Scott said when she drove up on the wreckage.
She said her daughter told her that when the bus flipped over, "everybody started screaming."
"Her face is, I guess she hit her face pretty hard," Scott said. "She was on the side toward the ground when the bus flipped. It hurt. Her face is still pretty swollen and her mouth and blood everywhere."
Troopers said the school bus was traveling north on Unionville-Indian Trail Road near Ridge Road when it went onto the shoulder. The driver overcorrected and struck the Toyota minivan heading south.
Eddy Cook said he barely missed being in the collision.
Cook said he saw the bus tires veer off the road onto the shoulder and then swerve back across the center line just after he passed the bus going the opposite way.
"The bus just went behind my vehicle and hit the car that was right behind me," Cook said.
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