COLUMBUS COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) – A tractor-trailer driver allegedly was reaching down to pick up a cigarette just before colliding with a school bus in Columbus County Tuesday morning, according to Chief Steve Camlin with Acme-Delco Reigelwood Fire Department.
A Head Start school bus had stopped in the westbound lanes on U.S. 74/76 to pick up a student at the time of the collision.
Camlin said that the tractor-trailer driver swerved but still hit the school bus.
The bus rolled over three times, according to Camlin.
Two adults and eight children were on the bus from Ransom Head Start Center in Riegelwood at the time of the collision. According to school officials, all 10 were taken to the hospital.
The extent of the injuries are unknown at this time.
At least two people involved in the wreck were taken to the hospital by Airlink.
Hubert Graham, who has a business near the site of the wreck, said vehicles often speed in the area.
“Everybody on the average is running between 65 and 70 miles an hour so a lot of times it doesn’t give you enough reaction time,” Graham said. “So a lot of times people aren’t paying attention to what’s going on, and this road is very busy. It’s even busier than it was before now that they’re making the turnarounds and actually making it part of an interstate. So people don’t actually slow-down down through here.”
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