Vehicle crashes into school bus in Camden County after deputy chase starting in Currituck County

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Camden County school bus crash (October 20)
Camden County school bus crash (October 20)
Camden County school bus crash (October 20)
Posted at 4:34 PM, Oct 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-21 13:33:56-04

CAMDEN Co., N.C. - A high-speed police chase spanning two North Carolina counties ended with a crash into a school bus full of children. The crash happened at U.S. Highway 158 and Gumberry Road in Camden County Wednesday afternoon.

Dr. Joe Ferrell, the superintendent of Camden County Schools, told News 3 one student was taken to the hospital out of an abundance of caution.

A Sheriff at the Camden County Police Department said that the student's injuries are not life-threatening. He also said that there were parents that arrived at the scene and took their children to the hospital.

The wild chase involved a driver of a BMW and sheriff’s deputies.

The Camden County Sheriff’s Office said a man driving the BMW crashed into a school bus full of dozens of children at the intersection of U.S. Highway 158 and Gumberry Road.

The suspect eluded police for miles speeding up to 100 miles an hour at one point.

A deputy can be heard on scanner radio saying, “The vehicle just passed me. High rate of speed, about 90 miles an hour, heading into Camden."

Camden County Sheriff Kevin Jones said the suspect sped through two school zones in Currituck County, blowing past police. That’s when the pursuit began before the driver made his way into Camden County, where deputies were waiting.

“I called him on the radio and told him, 'Do not chase the vehicle through the school zone if you catch up to it,'” Jones said.

Seconds later, the sheriff said the BMW crashed into the bus.

Deputies can be heard on scanner radio saying, "10-18, 10-18, EMS. I've got multiple children on the bus. I've got a driver with significant injuries.”

Officials report that the extent of the driver's injuries are non-life-threatening

Superintendent Ferrell said 50 elementary school children from Grandy Primary were on Bus 86 when it was hit.

Camden Co. crash

One student was taken to Albemarle Regional Hospital in Elizabeth City out of caution. Their injuries are believed to be minor. Ferrell said the student was able to walk to the emergency vehicle.

A viewer sent News 3 a picture of the aftermath. The BMW was a mangled mess after running into the side of the bus.

The sheriff rushed to the scene, calling it "chaotic."

“The children were visibly shaken,” Jones said. “We got the children that were not injured and put them off of the bus in safe a location in the building.”

The kids waited at an agriculture business near the crash site as they waited for frantic parents to pick them up.

Pieces of the car and bus were strewn across the highway. One of the deputies picked up a headlight from the BMW that fell into a ditch.

Skid marks show where the driver went off the road following the frightening crash.

Camden Co. crash

The driver of the vehicle, a male, was injured, and a Nightingale took him to a hospital in Norfolk. He was the only person in the vehicle.

A deputy is standing by for his release with warrants for his arrest. Jones said he’s facing a felony charge for speeding to elude arrest.

Officials also say that the police department has secured warrants on the suspect and he will not be charged until after he is treated at the hospital.

Sheriff Jones said the chase started after a North Carolina Marine Fisheries officer saw the car speeding. News 3 has reached out to the Currituck County Sheriff's Office for more information.

As of 5 p.m., all students have been picked up and the scene has cleared. Roads in the area have reopened.

Ferrell says the bus was towed back to the school district's bus stop.

State troopers with the North Carolina Highway Patrol are investigating the crash.