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The tragic deaths of two young men who crashed into the back of a school bus Tuesday morning, May 17, may have involved two of the most serious dangers threatening drivers today: alcohol and distracted driving.

The school bus had stopped at 1950 N.C. 61 in the community of Whitsett, North Carolina, near the city of Greensboro, to pick up a student, according to reports by the News & Record and other news media. A car driven by 20-year Skylair Christian Lee Myers of Burlington crashed into the back of the bus. He had one passenger, Samuel Colby Ray, 21, of Gibsonville.

The car, a 2002 Mazda Protégé, wedged underneath the bus when it hit.

Myers was killed in the crash. Ray died later that morning at Moses Cone Hospital.

There were 18 students on the bus: Nine from Southeast Middle School and nine from Southeast High School. None of the students was hurt. The bus driver, Pat Neese, also was not injured. School officials praised Neese for her handling of the crisis and getting the students off the bus safely.

Evidence suggests that distracted driving may have been involved. The bus’s warning lights were flashing and its stop arm was extended, making it as visible as possible. In addition, the car was going an estimated 55 to 60 mph, investigators said, and didn’t appear to have tried to stop or slow down.

And, according to Trooper Greg Ingram, beer cans were found inside the car, making alcohol a possible factor. This will be determined by toxicology testing.

Whatever the factors, the fatalities of this 20-year-old driver and his 21-year-old passenger are a terrible loss. The grief of their families will be excruciating, no matter who is responsible or why.

It’s sheer luck that the 13-year-old 7th-grader who lives in the house where the bus was stopped had gotten safely on the bus and in his seat before the crash.

If he had been climbing the steps of the bus he would likely have been seriously hurt. If he had been directly in front of the bus his injuries could have been worse, or even fatal, if he had been hit when the bus was jolted forward by the extreme impact of a 60-mph collision.

We can also just try to be thankful that the driver of the bus and the children on it were not physically injured. But the trauma the impact and ensuing events will be with them always.

Fox 8 News and News 14 also had reports and video on the accident.

If you have questions about legal issues in this article or in your own personal injury suffered in a wreck, call me directly for help – Lawrence Egerton, 336-273-0508, or 800-800-4LAW, or e-mail me at You can find more information about our firm, Egerton & Associates, at our website,

You will always talk to an attorney the first time you call.

One Comment

  1. Gravatar for cygel White

    “TextKills, an advocacy group committed to road safety, is dedicated to increasing awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. With the proliferation of Smartphones and the constant streaming of information to and from these and other “smart” mobile communication devices, texting while driving (TWD) is now an epidemic that results in thousands of fatalities and 100's of thousands of injuries annually. TextKills educates the public through social media campaigns and school tours in order to promote policies and programs aimed at enhancing greater personal responsibility and safety awareness among drivers and, ultimately, eliminating TWD from our roadways.”

    In 2010, TextKills launched a tour to rally college and high-school students against the dangers of TWD. Our team presented information to these students and encouraged each attendee to sign a promise to pay attention when driving. We also promoted a mobile application designed to help drivers resist the urge, and temptation, to engage in TWD. The TextKills blog ( documented each stop along the way as the tour eventually found its way to the 2010 Distracted Driving Summit, hosted by the U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C. TextKills strongly believes that it is critical to direct its mission to the youth of this country, given the findings of a 2009 government study that found that the under-20 age group comprised the largest percentage, by age category, of distracted drivers.

    During 2011, TextKills will continue to strive for a surge in pledges and media coverage so as to further spread its mission of safety, attention to road laws and mobile communications etiquette. The group’s goal is to instill these principles into the next generation of drivers and smart device users, so that like taking the precaution of buckling up a seatbelt, undistracted driving and responsible mobile communications practices will no longer be just a dream, but rather a life-saving reality.

    So I ask you, "Do you agree that texting while driving is a bad practice?"



    DriveReply™ for iPhone, BlackBerry and Android was designed to combat cell phone usage behind the wheel. It features customizable auto-replies and utilizes GPS technology to detect when your vehicle is in motion. It is feature rich and easy to use. Some of the features include personalization, customization of replies, cyber bullying protection with a no-reply list, and enhanced convenience and security with a unique My Drive 5 -- ringing a unique tone, if any of your significant persons try to reach you at a time when you should be focused on the road. Learn more at the website (


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