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Victim identified in deadly crash involving school bus in Catawba Co.

Troopers said the bus was going through the intersection when the driver of a 2008 Toyota Tundra ran a red light and hit the bus.
A Bandys High School bus was involved in a deadly three-vehicle crash Thursday in Catawba County.
A Bandys High School bus was involved in a deadly three-vehicle crash Thursday in Catawba County.(Source: WBTV)
Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 6:52 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 22, 2021 at 7:06 AM EDT
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NEWTON, N.C. (WBTV) – Authorities have identified the person killed in a three-car crash Thursday afternoon that involved a Bandys High School bus in Catawba County.

According to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, the crash happened at 3:15 p.m. at the intersection of Highway 16 and EP Street Extension, which is near Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet in Newton.

Troopers said the bus was going through the intersection when the driver of a 2008 Toyota Tundra ran a red light and hit the bus.

The force of the impact caused the bus to roll on top of a 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe, according to law enforcement.

Troopers said the driver of the Toyota, 41-year-old James Lee Willis, of Newton, died of his injuries on the scene. They added the victim was not wearing a seatbelt.

The bus driver and the driver of the Hyundai had non-life-threatening injuries, according to the NCSHP. They were taken to the hospital by EMS for treatment.

There were no students on the bus at the time of the crash.

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