School bus nearly involved in multi-vehicle crash in Durham

DURHAM (WTVD) -- Police have now charged a driver they say caused a messy, multi-vehicle accident in Durham after trying to pass a school bus on Wednesday.

"It is very terrifying as a parent and as a school official," said Durham County School District spokesperson Chrissy Deal.

Students were just seconds away from standing near where cars landed in a multi-vehicle crash. The district says the bus driver heard tires squealing behind him and quickly closed the door.

"If the kids got off the bus and were put in a vulnerable position on the side of the road, things could have been a lot different," said Deal.

The accident happened Wednesday around 4:15 p.m. as the bus driver was bringing children home from after-school activities. About 30 kids were on the bus.

Police say 35-year-old Chadwick Edwards caused the collision after trying to pass the bus on Cornwallis Road.

Every car involved flipped over. A white Chevy landed on its side. A Toyota toppled onto another car. Parts were sprinkled all over the roadway.

A number of people, including children who were inside a van, were injured. Police say their injuries are non-life threatening.

Edwards is facing charges of careless and reckless driving, passing a stopped school bus, two counts of injury to property and two counts of hit-and-run involving personal injury.

"We can only do so much. The drivers out there have to pay attention to keep our kids safe," said Deal.

The district hopes the accident serves as a reminder that there are still schools in session.

"Be extra cautious. Very precious cargo on those school buses. Those are our kids. They are not paying attention sometimes when they get off the bus, they're kids. So that means us adults who are behind the wheel have to pay extra close attention," said Deal.

No one on the school bus was injured.

Edwards was hospitalized.

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