make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

Drugs, alcohol factor in crash with school bus


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Investigators say drugs and alcohol were a factor in a crash involving a school bus this morning. Highway Patrol says Mark Anthony Thornton never hit his brakes as he ran into the back of the bus on North College Road at Blue Clay Road a little after 8 a.m.

There were five students on the bus heading to Holly Shelter Middle School and Laney High School. They were fine.

Thornton went to the hospital, and is expected to recover. He's charged with DWI, reckless driving and failure to reduce speed.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


dui drivers mark thornton

how about a follow up on this story, the Grooms trial is going on now, i guess cause no children were killed it is not a compelling story anymore. This guy was busted again after this crash, maintaining a dwelling among other charges, and still he drives on the road next to me. He previously had a dui machine installed in vehicle and still he drives. This guy was never even arrested, he went home after the hospital, How in the world can we let this happen. Our own DA convicted a guy for murder of an officer and he was miles away when it occured. WTF! I can tell you this, if Mark Thornton gets any of these charges reduced and just pays a fine, i think I'll grab a beer and go for a ride. There seems to be selective prosecution in this town. High on crack, hits a SCHOOL BUS with children aboard and walks away without ever being arrested.
There has to be a line drawn and we have to enforce it. If my child were on that bus, there would definately been a follow up story....

Drunk at 0800?

This guy obviously has a BIG problem, but our weak laws and corrupt, incestuous legal system (where prosecutors and defense attorneys are on the same team, the LINE THE LAWYERS' POCKETS team) will have him back on the road in no time.

Ok the guy was drunk at 8am

Ok the guy was drunk at 8am and ran into a big yellow bus. What more evidence do we need to take his DL from him and throw him into jail. Also why were there only 5 students on the bus? Did the bus still have students to pick up or was that it? Seems like a waste of fuel and driver.

Shift worker

He might work nights. It could have been his 700PM.


....or maybe he went to bed at 0200 with a BAC of .27?

Or maybe he's an alcoholic whose BAC never drops below .08?

Maybe not

You know how small and stealthy school buses are while they sneak around. He just didn't see it and the fact he was hammered had nothing to do with it.
Just my attempt to be a lawyer.

What you fail to consider in

What you fail to consider in your infinite wisdom is that people have different lifestyles. It may be that he worked 3rd shift and was drinking after work. Maybe he had a cold and took too much Nyquil.

And yes, our legal system and everything else for that matter, is run by money. How much justice can you afford? I learned early in life to always get a lawyer and pay your "dues". That is how the system works. Don't be naive.

I don't care what shift this

I don't care what shift this guy might have worked or whether he works at all....there is no reason, absolutely no reason to be driving under the influence of alcohol, if you think there is a reason, something that makes sense to intelligent people, let's hear it!!!

Well, there is one

Well, there is one reason.... we live in a free country. People are still somewhat free to do what they want, when they want. But freedoms bring consequences, and he will probably get his. Happy?


"Maybe he had a cold and took too much Nyquil."
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha
You are correct, some people have different lifestyles, such that some get hammered at 8am and run into the back of school buses. Let's, by all means, try to justify criminal behavior that could have killed children. Dope.

Drunk at 0800

Commonsensenotc You are so right. I had a guy hit my car several years ago and he had passed out several times while driving all over town. He had a car following him and calling in his car to 911. After all of this he hit my car and the police let him go because he was not drunk from alcohol but was high on something else. Let him drive away. I am still having problems understanding this.



Maybe he was on the way home

Maybe he was on the way home from a night job. It's hard to imagine being shift faced at 8 o'clock in the morning.

where was

where was the red light camera at, there replacing the police dept so why didnt the camera take a pict because he was going over the yellow line, another waste of taxs on the damaged bus and cameras.

Although I agree with you...

I hope the driver isn't on the road anytime soon. Yes, it would appear he has a substance abuse problem, and I hope he gets treatment. Thankfully none of the kids were injured.