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Mecklenburg school bus caught up in accident / August 27, 2014

A school bus was involved in a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Skipwith and Rocky Mount Roads in Skipwith at approximately 8:35 p.m. Aug. 20.

The school bus, driven by 70-year-old Barbara Edmonds of Boydton, was turning left when a vehicle, driven by 17-year-old Kalifornia Parker, traveling in the opposite direction collided with the bus. Parker was traveling to Bluestone High School. There were student-passengers on the bus at the time of the accident. None of the students were injured.

No charges were filed against either party.

Neither driver was injured, according to Trooper R. A. Stiltner. Parker’s vehicle, a 2003 Dodge Caravan, sustained an estimated $2,500 in damages. The bus, a 2009 Bluebird, sustained approximately $100 in damages.

Heather Tuck, who oversees the transportation department for Mecklenburg County Public Schools (MCPS), said that after each accident involving a school bus, the MCPS conducts an internal investigation, interviews witnesses, and consults the police report. “Once we determine the cause [of the accident], we retrain with the driver,” Tuck explained.

Every bus driver in Mecklenburg County takes 24 hours of classroom training followed by 20 hours of training behind the wheel, before he or she is allowed to transport children. Last year, four school buses were involved in accidents; three of the four incidents were deemed preventable, said Tuck.

This is Edmonds first accident in her 40-year experience of driving a school bus.

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