WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) — A school bus driver with Whiteville City Schools faces numerous charges after allegedly driving through a blockade, then hitting a public works truck, while 17 students were still on board!
It happened around 3:30 on Monday afternoon.
According to Whiteville Police Chief Jeffrey Rosier, bus driver Jimmy Lewis drove around public works crews who were working on Smyrna Road, drove up an embankment, through a front yard, and into a back parking lot of a business before continuing on Smyrna Road.
Rosier said public works crews were yelling for the driver to stop. When he didn’t, they called 911.
When officers responded, they called the school system and identified the bus number going through that route.
A few minutes later, an officer spotted the bus at Jefferson and Franklin Streets and conducted a traffic stop.
At that time, only two students remained on the bus. One complained that his neck hurt. Rosier said EMS came and checked out the students and determined they were fine.
Rosier said they have since learned there were actually 17 kids on the bus when the incident occurred, but Lewis continued on the route and had dropped them off before he was stopped by police.
Lewis is charged with injury to personal property, driving on a closed, unopened highway,
hit and run failure to stop causing property damage, two misdemeanor child abuse charges, and reckless driving to endanger the public.
Rosier said the investigation is continuing.
Whiteville City Schools Superintendent Charles Garland said Lewis was placed on leave without pay effective June 4, 2019. Garland said the school system is working with the Whiteville Police Department in an ongoing investigation regarding the matter.