TARBORO, N.C. (WNCN) – The Highway Patrol is investigating a Monday morning accident involving a bus on westbound U.S. 64 near Tarrboro that injured 26 passengers.
Highway Patrol initially said the bus was a school bus but later confirmed it was a bus carrying migrant workers. They received a call about the accident around 6 a.m. Monday.
Troopers said there were no fatalities, but multiple injuries were reported. No children were involved.
Lt. Jeff Gordon said it appears the bus was hit from behind by a tractor-trailer. The collision caused the bus to overturn before coming to a stop in the left lane of U.S. 64.
After the collision with the bus, the tractor-trailer veered onto the right shoulder where it went down an embankment.
Gordon said 26 passengers were taken to area hospital with various degrees of injuries. Two of the injuries were reported as serious and flown to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville.
The driver of the tractor-trailer, Aaron Nissim Moore, 31, has been charged with failing to reduce speed to avoid a collision. Highway Patrol said Moore was traveling 60 to 65 mph when it struck the bus, which was traveling 45 mph.
The driver of the bus, Manuel Rodrigues, 29, is also being charged in the crash. Gordon said Rodrigues failed to have a Class B driver’s license, which is required when transporting 16 or more passengers.
Gordon said many times people will purchase former school buses and utilize them to transport multiple passengers. The buses remain the same color, but the markings are removed from the bus.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation and Highway Patrol are clearing the scene and the eastbound lanes of U.S. 64 are expected to reopen at 12 p.m. Monday.