No charges filed in school bus crash with Jacksonville teenager

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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – No charges are being filed in a school bus crash that sent a 16-year-old boy to the hospital.

Gary Long was taken to the hospital with serious injuries Friday morning after being hit by a bus just outside Jacksonville High School.

It happened at 6:37 a.m. at the intersection of Gum Branch Road and Indian Drive.

The driver of the Onslow County Schools bus, Barbara Revels, 56, of Jacksonville was traveling northwest in the right travel lane on Gum Branch Road while Long was at the intersection.

Police said he failed to yield to the school bus and ran into the road as the bus was proceeding through the intersection on a green light.

Revels braked and turned the steering wheel to the left, but was unable to avoid him, police said.

The front right bumper struck Long, who remains at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville in critical condition.

You can donate to a GoFundMe in support of Long here.

He is not the first person to be hit in that area of Gum Branch Road, and residents said it is unsafe.

“It’s a very busy road,” said parent Giovanna Velilla. “My daughter goes to school down the block, and I worry about it every day because she walks to school.”

One mother even said she goes out of her way to come pick her son up from school down the road because she’s so worried about him crossing at the intersection.

“It’s not safe,” said parent Renee Kinneman. “He complains about it all the time. He has witnessed on several occasions cars not stopping and going right through and almost hitting the kids. That’s actually why he likes me to come up here and pick him up every day.”

The city has called on the NCDOT to take a closer look at the area.

Last year, DOT added pedestrian crossing lights and sidewalks.

City manager Richard Woodruff cautioned parents to make sure their children cross in the proper areas to avoid danger.

“Make sure that your student understands where they’re supposed to cross, and that they’re there, and that they’re paying attention,” Woodruff said. “Secondly, make absolutely certain before you cross whether the light is in favor of you crossing or not.”

The city hopes to hear the results of the DOT’s study and potential funding for medians and crosswalks.

 

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