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3 Car MVA

posted Aug 24, 2012, 5:47 PM by Jeremiah Smith
By Joseph Martin
jmartin@cherokeescout.com
Friday, August 24, 2012 10:02 AM CDT
Joseph Martin/jmartin@cherokeescout.com
A Murphy High School student complained of neck soreness after two vehicles hit this school bus. She was taken to Murphy Medical Center for observation and was released.
    Ranger – Three vehicles, one a Cherokee County Schools bus, were involved in an accident just east of the intersection of U.S. 64 West and U.S. 19/129.

    A Murphy High School student who was in the back seat of the bus, where the two vehicles impacted, complained of a sore neck and was taken by ambulance to Murphy Medical Center in Peachtree for observation. One man had cuts and scrapes, but otherwise appeared fine.

    The driver of one of the three vehicles Austin Manuel of Orlando, Fla., was in his Smart Car and was slowing down for the bus as it extended its stop sign.
     "I stopped for the school bus, and this pickup came up and nailed me in the back. I got shoved into the school bus," he said.

    Manuel had no visible injuries. His father, Joe Manuel, had a gash on his head and leg, but refused treatment.

    "I didn't know it was coming," the elder Manuel said. "My son did the right thing. We actually spun around and hit the school bus in the back. Thank God for seat belts, huh?"

    As of Friday morning, the Manuels were fine. "We're doing well," Joe Manuel said.

    Cherokee County Schools public information officer Jeana Hardin said the bus was at a stop position. Stop lights were on, the door was open and stop sign extended. There were 15 students aboard.

    Superintendent Stephen Lane arrived on the scene. He identified the girl taken to Murphy Medical as a junior at Murphy High.

    Hardin said Friday morning the girl was doing fine. "We're very thankful no one was seriously injured," she said.

    Jason McCoy was pumping gas at the nearby Hot Spot gas station when he looked up and saw a red pickup hit the Smart Car. "I'm just glad everybody's all right," he said.

    Both the truck and Smart Car were heavily damaged. The pickup was upside down with debris scattered on the road and on the median. Children on the bus were holding the hands of parents through the windows. The bus showed little damage.

    Lane said that the bus driver, Jeff Owens, was not hurt, and he had returned to the middle school to provide a seating chart to the N.C. Highway Patrol. All the children were released to their parents.

    "We're just very fortunate no one was hurt," he said.

    Lane added that the bus would be repaired and return to service the next day. "It's a tribute to the quality that the state demands of our school buses," he said.

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