A school bus was involved in a three vehicle accident Wednesday afternoon. It happened around 5:39pm on Wilson’s Mills Road at Britt Street in West Smithfield.
Bus number 169, driven by Merrion Elaine Bryant of Selma, was carrying 12 students from Johnston County Early College. The bus was headed northbound but had stopped for traffic. A 2007 Mercedes driven by Juan Antonio Duran of Princeton had also come to a complete stop behind the bus.
Police said a 2001 Ford SUV driven by Brandon Matthew Long of Four Oaks failed to stop, slamming into the back of the Mercedes which was then pushed into the rear of the school bus.
Bryant and Duran were treated at the scene by EMS crews but were not taken to the hospital.
Long reportedly told officers his glasses had fallen onto the floor. He was reaching for his glasses and when he looked back up to the roadway he had no time to stop to avoid the collision. Police estimated Long was traveling 40mph at the time of impact. The speed limit along that stretch of Wilson’s Mills Road is 45mph.
Long was charged with failure to reduce speed.
Damage to the bus was estimated at $500. The Mercedes sustained $7,000 in damage. The Ford SUV had $4,000 in damages. Photos courtesy JoCoFire.com