School Bus Driver Cited After Crashing Into North Charlotte Apartment Building
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (UPDATED March 1, 2019 at 4:40pm) — CMPD says the driver of a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools bus has been cited after an accident Thursday morning in north Charlotte.
Lashandra Williams, 35, has been issued a citation for Failure to Maintain Lane Control after she reportedly hit a 2018 Kia Optima that was stopped in a turn lane, over corrected and crashed into a condominium.
The accident happened around 8:30 a.m. near the intersection of Newland Road and Statesville Avenue. No serious injuries have been reported, but two students were transported with minor injuries to Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center.
CMPD says speed does not appear to have been a factor and no evidence of impairment was found on either driver. Police say Williams was transported for a drug screening as part of CMS policy.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools says she has been suspended with pay per the district’s standard procedure.
The following statement was released Friday afternoon by CMS:
“The safety and security of students and staff is always a top priority at CMS. The district is thankful that no serious injuries resulted from the accident involving bus #509 and grateful to emergency responders, law enforcement, CMS staff and families who responded quickly to meet the needs of students and the driver on board. Parents, students and staff should know that CMS will respond as needed to ensure that transportation safety remains top of mind for all our staff. The district will review the results of law enforcement investigation and act appropriately to help prevent future accidents and to maintain CMS’ existing daily high standard of safety.”
There were 15 students on board heading to Ranson Elementary School. Several of students described what took place.
“All of a sudden we just hear a loud boom,” described one of the students on board.
Cameron Lewis, another student on board, said, “There was like dirt everywhere and we were still moving and I felt another big jolt.”
“The whole bus was like vibrating,” described Ziquan Sneed.
“It was scary. I didn’t know what to do at first,” said another Ranson student.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools released the following statement Thursday morning on the situation:
CMS bus #509 with 15 students and driver on board on route to Ranson Middle School was involved in an accident this morning. CMS is thankful that no serious injuries have been reported at this time. Emergency responders, CMS Transportation, CMS-PD and district staff responded quickly to help ensure students and staff involved received care. Families of students on board bus #509 were notified, advised of no injuries and arrangements made for safe transportation home or to school. Law enforcement is investigating this incident and CMS will review events leading up to the accident to help ensure the safety of students and staff on CMS Transportation.
Parents and grandparents at the scene say they were relieved once they saw their children.
“Thank you god. Thank you god. God was with my grandchildren and any other children on the school bus ,” said Doretha Jones.