Laytora Sheree Blocker was driving Cumberland County school bus No. 597 when it was struck by a man speeding in a 2003 Mitsubishi sedan on October 22, 2010.
The Mitsubishi was travelling at a high rate of speed—60 mph in a 35 mph zone—and driving erratically. The accident report indicates the driver, Eric Lamont Bradley, 28, of Fayetteville, appeared to be racing a van, according to a witness.
When the car ran off the roadway to the right, the Mr. Bradley overcorrected to the left and crossed the center line. He then overcorrected right, but was unable to avoid front-ending the school bus. The Mitsubishi hit the school bus at an angle such that the driver’s side of the car was crushed.
Ms. Blocker stated in the accident report that she applied the school bus’s brakes but was unable to stop before colliding with the speeding sedan.
Injured school bus passengers include the driver, Ms. Blocker, 29, student Prescott Stevens, 17, and his monitor, Julia White, 30, all from Fayetteville. They were transported to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center with minor injuries.
Mr. Bradley suffered more serious injuries. He was rushed by EMS ambulance to an awaiting Life Flight helicopter.
If Mr. Bradley was indeed racing with another vehicle, this accident is all the more deplorable because it could have easily been prevented. And sadly, it might not have been the first time he exercised poor judgment behind the wheel, as he was charged with driving with a revoked license. Fayetteville police also charged him with careless and reckless driving.