Cabarrus County school bus involved in fatal crash

One killed in collision with school bus
David Whisenant-WBTV
David Whisenant-WBTV

CABARRUS COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A Denver, N.C., man was killed Tuesday morning when his car struck a Cabarrus County school bus nearly head on.

The crash happened along Highway 73 (Davidson Highway) and LaForest Lane near Lake Don T. Howell.

The accident involved the bus and two passenger cars. One of the cars ran up under the back of the bus. The bus also had heavy damage to the left front fender and wheel.

Investigators say the driver of the vehicle may have suffered from a medical condition and drifted across the center line and hit the bus head-on.

The driver has now been identified as James Murphy, 66, of Denver.  Murphy was driving a 2003 Saturn.

"It was a head on collision, there was a gentleman going east, crossed left of center, we do not know at this time if it was a medical condition or alcohol or drugs involved, but he was pronounced dead at the scene," said Trooper Wade Nesbit of the NC Highway Patrol.

No students were on board, according to school officials. Bus 1154 was assigned to Carl A. Furr Elementary, Cox Mill Elementary and the Early College High School.

Despite being trapped in the bus for a short time, the bus driver, now identified as Lisa Blakeney of Kannapolis, was not hurt.

Two people in the car that ran into the back of the bus were not hurt.

Trooper Nesbit said the accident could have been much worse.

"Had it been children at the point of impact, it was a 90 mile an hour impact speed here, vehicles traveling 45 miles an hour in each direction, 90 mile an hour impact speed," Nesbit added.

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