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Driver cited by police after North Charleston school bus crash

school bus crash_1.jpg

A school bus crashed the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, into Neighbor Store, 1740 E. Montague Ave., in North Charleston. Authorities reported at least seven people, including six students, were injured in the collision. Andrew Whitaker/Staff

NORTH CHARLESTON — Police cited the driver of the school bus that crashed into a store earlier this week, injuring six children, for careless operation of the vehicle. 

The school bus was transporting eight students the morning of Sept. 20 from the Liberty Hill neighborhood to North Charleston Creative Arts Elementary School, authorities have said. 

The driver lost control of the vehicle at roughly 7:45 a.m. while attempting to turn south off Luella Ave. onto East Montague Ave., according to a crash report released Sept. 22 by police. 

As the bus was turning east onto Montague, the report states, its rear driver's side tires clipped the median divider of the roadway, jolting the driver out of her seat. The bus made a U-turn over the median divider and off the roadway, striking a 15-year-old student on the sidewalk before ultimately crashing into the entrance of the Neighbor Store. 

The bus driver, whose name is redacted in the report, was cited for careless operation of a vehicle — a traffic infraction. 

As of Sept. 21, the driver remained employed by First Student, a company contracted by the Charleston County School District to provide bussing services, but she had been removed from service while the crash was under review.

The Ohio-based company did not respond Sept. 22 to a request for comment. 

The pedestrian struck was a 15-year-old North Charleston High School student. Another high school student was hit by a tree branch and four children on the bus suffered minor injuries from the crash, according to authorities. The bus driver was also taken to the hospital. 

The crash caused an estimated $20,000 in damages to the convenience store, while the bus sustained an estimated $9,000 in damages, according to the crash report. 

District employees are conducting an after-action report with the S.C. Department of Education’s transportation team as well as First Student, a CCSD spokesman said. 

Reach Ema Schumer at eschumer@postandcourier.com. Follow her on Twitter @emaschumer.