Student struck by charter bus in Harnett County

William Lawrence (Campbell University)
April 11, 2013 8:05:00 PM PDT
U.S. Highway 421 in Harnett County was closed Thursday afternoon after a pedestrian accident involving a Campbell University student.

Video from Chopper 11 HD showed a charter bus parked near a crosswalk by Barker-Lane Stadium just after the incident.

University officials William Lawrence, of Belmont, who is a freshman at the school, was struck shortly before 3 p.m.

University officials say the driver told investigators that Lawrence wasn't looking at the bus when he crossed the road and the driver couldn't slow down in time. Investigators say Lawrence wasn't using the crosswalk when he was hit.

A State Highway Patrol trooper who witnessed the accident rushed to perform CPR on Lawrence.

Lawrence was transported to WakeMed in Raleigh where he underwent surgery for his injuries. He was last listed in critical condition.

Students say the highway that runs through part of the campus can be dangerous.

"The caution light is there but it's not really noticeable and a lot of people don't pay attention or look," said sophomore Emily Taylor.

"I think it should be made more clear that you should slow down there because a lot of people live back behind that area and have to cross that road to go to class every day," said sophomore Shelby Wood.

University officials say the school has worked with the NCDOT to improve the crosswalk over the last two years, adding flashing lights, reducing the speed to 45 miles per hour and even painting the road.

The university's president sent this email to students today saying in part, "Our thoughts and prayers are with William, his family, and those who are caring for him."

Forty-three passengers were on board the bus at the time of the crash. They were from the North Carolina Growers Association and headed to Vass.

The Highway Patrol is investigating the accident.

There's no word on whether the bus driver will face any charges.

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