Parents, neighbors call for traffic light after 15 students hurt in Johnston Co. bus crash

BENSON, N.C. (WNCN) — More than a dozen students were injured in a school bus crash in Johnston County Friday afternoon.

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The wreck happened around 3:40 p.m. at the intersection of N.C. 96 and Godwin Lake Road.

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“I thought someone had been killed. I really did think someone had been killed,” said Kelli Barefoot, a parent.

Johnston County Public Schools said the bus was coming from the Meadow School and 37 students were onboard.

Barefoot said she’d just picked up her son from Meadow and was driving behind the bus at the time of the crash.

“If that had been us — if we were just a few seconds earlier and that had been us — I know, cause he sits on that side, and it would have ended a lot worse,” Barefoot said.

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The school system told CBS North Carolina 15 students were injured. Seven of those students were transported to the hospital.

According to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, a 17-year-old female behind the wheel of a Ford Mustang and ran a stop sign, striking the bus.

There was also a 13-year-old boy in the passenger seat of the Mustang. Authorities said those in the Mustang suffered the most serious injuries, but are expected to survive.

This is the second accident at this intersection involving a school bus in less than two months.

“There’s been five people killed in this intersection in ten years,” neighbor Chris Baucon said.

Baucon said he saw the accident. He lives just one door down and wants a stop light installed.

“This could be any person’s kid. You know it could be fatal next time,” Baucon said.

Barefoot agrees. Both of them are hoping the NC DOT will install the light.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol hasn’t said whether charges will follow in this case.

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