UNION — A Whitmire man has been charged in the Saturday evening collision of a car with a Union County School District activity bus that was carrying the Union County High School Baseball Team back home from a game.
L/Cpl. Gary Miller of the SC Highway Patrol said Monday morning that Barak Steven McClain, 21, Whitmire, has been charged with traveling left of center in the accident that occurred shortly before 6 p.m. Saturday on the Whitmire Highway (US 176 South).
Miller said the accident occurred when the eastbound 2004 Nissan four-door Sedan driven by McClain crossed over and collided with a westbound 1998 International School Bus driven by Richard Bryce Duckett, 35, Union. He said the collision occurred 2.3 miles south of Union near Beatty’s Chapel Road.
After colliding with each other, Miller said the bus ran off the right side of the road and struck a ditch and an embankment. The Nissan ran off the left side of the road and struck a guardrail.
Miller said that neither Ducket nor his passengers were injured. Of the four people in the Nissan, Miller said it was reported that only the driver, McClain, may have suffered possibly minor injuries.
Union County School District Transportation Supervisor Sammy Tucker said that the Nissan struck the bus on the driver’s side of the front, then traveled down that side, damaging the hub on the right front tire, tearing the door off the battery box, damaging the cargo space, knocked the rear tire off the rim and twisting the bottom of that side of the bus.
Tucker said there were a total of 16 people on board the bus at the time of the collision, including Duckett and the UCHS Baseball Team and their coaches.
In addition to the SCHP, the Union County Sheriff’s Office, Union County Rescue Squad, Union County EMS, and the Southside Fire Department responded to the accident. Southside Public Information Officer Roger Bailey said that his department was on scene until 7:30 p.m. He said the section of US 176 where the accident occurred was closed to traffic for approximately two hours.
Bailey said that the bus was carrying the UCHS baseball team which was on its way back from Camden when the accident occurred. He said that while the bus was damaged in the collision no one on board was injured, which he attributed to the skill of the driver, Duckett.
“His maneuvering of the vehicle prevented major problems,” Bailey said. “He put it in the ditch to keep it from overturning.”
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or email@example.com.