14 hurt in North Carolina school bus crash

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MCDOWELL CO., N.C. (WSPA/WFXR) — Officials said two people were admitted and another person was still being evaluated at area hospitals Tuesday after a school bus crashed down an embankment in McDowell County Monday night.

North Carolina Highway Patrol officials said the crash happened on Highway 226 near the top of Cox Creek just before 9 p.m.

NCHP said the bus was traveling southbound on Highway 226 when it went off the road to the right and hit several large rocks and a tree.

The bus then went down an embankment and came to a stop.

The bus, an activity bus from Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy in Rutherford County, was carrying the varsity and junior varsity volleyball teams.

On Tuesday, school officials held a news conference at Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy.

Principal Diana Bridges said a total of 14 people — players, coaches and the bus driver — were on-board the bus when it crashed and were injured.

Victims were taken to three hospitals following the crash, including one person who was airlifted to Mission Hospital.

Bridges said two were admitted to the hospital and one person was still being evaluated.

According to Bridges, the injuries were serious, but were not life-threatening.

“We’re a very very close knit family being a smaller school and a charter school,” Bridges said. “We’re very very close and there was a lot of emotions this morning. Worried about their classmates. So, it’s going to be a tough day for the whole student body today, and for a few days to come.”

The driver of the bus was released from the hospital Monday night.

The N.C. Highway Patrol is still investigating the crash.

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