Although traffic congestion occurred, no injuries were sustained by the individuals on the bus. According to the accident report from the N.C. Highway Patrol, the bus had executed a right turn from Webster Road and merged into the left lane to initiate a U-turn at Cagle Branch Road. At this point, a Kia car collided with the bus.
Eyewitnesses reported that the car struck the bus and was somewhat pushed beneath it.
The driver of the car, Tanya Haynes Jenkins, aged 46 and from Franklin, experienced minor injuries and was transported to the hospital by Harris EMS.
The bus was operated by Mark Andrew Biddix, aged 37 and from Sylva.
According to a witness account given to NCHP personnel, as the bus moved into the left lane while Jenkins was approaching, she accelerated in an attempt to overtake a vehicle on her right. Unfortunately, she couldn’t complete the maneuver in time, stated NCHP Sgt. Michael Owen. The accident incurred approximately $8,000 in damage to the bus.
A replacement bus was deployed for the route later that Tuesday afternoon, as confirmed by Superintendent Dana Ayers. The damaged bus was still operational and was shifted to the roadside.
The road was strewn with shattered glass, prompting the redirection of traffic into a single lane.