One killed in Fayetteville school bus crash

FAYETTEVILLE The first crash happened around 7:45 a.m. Thursday at the intersection of Raeford Road and Purdue Dr. in Fayetteville.

Police say two women in a Buick Lasabre collided with the bus. The driver was identified as 71-year old Joe Ann Pelchat of Blythewood Lane in Fayetteville. She was taken to the Cape Fear Valley Medical Center with serious injuries.

The passenger in the Buick was identified as 78-year old Annie Wilson Thomas of Whiffen Road in Cameron. Thomas died as a result of her injuries.

Police say their preliminary investigation shows Pelchat failed to yield to a flashing yellow light and attempted to make a left turn onto Purdue Drive in front of the on-coming school bus.

The bus was carrying seven special needs children. None of them were injured.

The driver of the bus, 49-year-old Norman Upsher, also was not injured.

Authorities are investigating a second, unrelated crash that also happened on Raeford Road near Fairfield Rd. No injuries were reported in that wreck.

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