The driver of the car was seriously injured when a Wilkes County school bus and a 1998 Toyota Corolla collided Thursday afternoon in the Roaring River, and as a result two students on the bus were taken to Wilkes Medical Center for observation.
The wreck occurred in a curve on the Red, White and Blue Road when a Toyota on the north side of the Roaring River driven by 24-year-old Isaiah Kothren, ran on the right side of the road, then went left of center due to overcorrection and hit by the 2022 Thomas Bus. On the left, said Trooper ZM Jennings of the NC Highway Patrol.
Jennings said the Toyota collided with the bus near the left rear wheels of the bus, hitting one of the bus’s wheels. After impact, Toyota came to rest in the southbound lane and the bus came to rest partly in the northbound lane and partly on that side of the road.
The Cothren was pinned in and was freed from the heavily damaged Toyota by emergency personnel. A Wilkes Emergency Medical Services ambulance transported them to a landing zone set up for an AirCare helicopter near Tyson Foods Feed Mill on NC 268 East. The helicopter took him to Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist in Winston-Salem.
Jennings said Cothrane was not wearing a seatbelt and had chest, arm and other injuries, adding that he was conscious. The cop charged Kothrain with driving license cancellation, driving to the left of the center, reckless and reckless driving, not wearing a seatbelt and other violations.
Morgan Mathis, media spokeswoman for Wilkes County School, said Wilkes EMS took two of the approximately 25 students on the bus to Wilkes Medical Center for observation. Daniel Dowell, principal of Roaring River Elementary School, accompanied him to the hospital.
Jennings said a spokesman for the hospital told her that the injuries to two students taken to the hospital were minor. Two other students on the bus have been identified as injured, but not serious enough to be taken to a hospital, he said. Some of the students were picked up by their parents at the scene of the wreck, but most were picked up at Roaring River Elementary when another Wilkes school bus took them there.
The bus (number 216) in the wreckage had come out of Roaring River Elementary. Jennings said the driver of Bus 216, Jacob Winters, 78, of North Wilkesboro, was not injured.
“Wilkes County Schools would like to appreciate our bus driver for their efforts in keeping our students safe. We are very proud of the prompt response and assistance provided by emergency personnel and the school administration,” said Mathis.
“As always, Wilkes County Schools will fully cooperate with law enforcement in investigating the cause of this accident, and appropriate system protocols will be followed.”
The wreck occurred north of the Ruth Linney Road intersection with Red, White, and Blue Roads and south of the old 60 and four-way intersection of Red, White and Blue Roads. Jennings said Toyota was at a total loss and the bus had suffered heavy damage.
He said that the Highway Patrol was dispatched at 3.28 pm, both the lanes of Red, White and Blue Road were closed for traffic till around 5 pm.
In addition to the Highway Patrol and Wilkes EMS, the Wilkes Rescue Squad, the Wilkes Sheriff’s Office and the Roaring River and Nottville Fire Departments responded to the accident. A nurse from the school was also on the spot.