A school bus driver for the Union County School District is being charged by the highway patrol after a two-vehicle collision that sent her and four others to the hospital Thursday morning.
Stephney G. Estes, 31, 418 Prospect Corner Road, Union, is charged by the SC Highway Patrol with failure to yield the right of way.
According to a report posted on the SC Highway Patrol Message Board, the accident occured when Estes, driving a 2009 Freightliner bus, attempted to turn out of the Sims Middle School parking lot onto the Whtmire Highway. The report states as Estes turned onto the highway she collided with a southbound 2004 Mercury four-door driven by Amy Elizabeth Griffith, 23, 123 Woodlawn Avenue, Union.
The right side of the Mercury was damaged in the collision along with the left front of the bus. The report did not include any estimate of the cost of the damage to the vehicles.
District Public Information Officer Mike Anthony said the accident occurred around 7:30 a.m. Anthony said there were 26 students and the driver on the bus at the time the collision. He said all the students were checked out by Union County EMS at the scene and three were transported to Wallace Thomson Hospital for further examination.
The highway patrol lists the ages of the three students transported to the hospital as 9, 10 and 11.
Anthony said the bus driver and the driver of the other car were also transported to the hospital. He said any and all injuries appeared to be minor and the bus driver and three students were released Thursday morning
“Everbody seems fine, just some bumps and bruises,” Anthony said. “Safety Director Randy Crocker and I went to the hospital to be with the families while they waited. Everyone seems fine, though I was concerned about the driver of the car. I talked to her mother and she said the girl was fine, they were just keeping her to perform some x-rays on her knee.”
Anthony praised the EMS and the hospital staff for their quick response to the accident and treatment they gave the students, bus driver and driver of the other car. He said the hospital staff was in a meeting at the time of the accident but put that aside to examine and care for the students and drivers.