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Charter bus flips after colliding with tractor-trailer

By Staff
Area residents are among those airlifted to hospitals
By CHRISTINA HALE, Staff Writer
A Washington woman was airlifted to the Medical College of Virginia after a charter bus returning to Williamston from Atlantic City, N.J., collided with a tractor-trailer and flipped Thursday night in Halifax County.
Five people, including one from Washington and one from Jamesville, were airlifted to Pitt County Memorial Hospital after the bus, struck the tractor-trailer on N.C. Highway 125 just after 7 p.m., according to the N.C. Highway Patrol.
Washington resident Sylvia Day, associated with Sylvia and Iris’ Tours in Williamston, was airlifted to the Medical College of Virginia, which is in Richmond, Va. Day elected not to have any information about her condition publicly released, said a spokeswoman with the Medical College of Virginia.
Washington resident Bill Day was airlifted to Pitt County Memorial Hospital, where he was listed in good condition Friday night, said a hospital spokesman. Jamesville resident Helen Bass of Jamesville and Linda Smith of Raleigh were also airlifted to Pitt County Memorial Hospital, where they were treated and released. Bethel resident Patsy Purvis, also air lifted to the Greenville hospital, was listed in serious condition Friday night, said the hospital spokesman.
Joseph S. Rozier of Halifax County, the truck driver, was charged Thursday night with “improper backing,” said Trooper Tommy Davis with the Highway Patrol’s office in Roanoke Rapids. Rozier was not injured in the accident, Davis said.
Davis said the tractor-trailer blocked both lanes of traffic as it was backing into a driveway.
Lovette was among the five people airlifted to Pitt County Memorial Hospital. He condition was “undetermined” as of Friday night, said a spokesman with the hospital.
Kay Sharpe and her friend, Mary Noe, both of Washington, were sitting in the second seat behind the bus driver when the wreck occurred. They were not injured. Sharpe said Lovette was pinned by the bus’ steering wheel and “three guys had to pull him out.” Sharpe said that 55 to 58 passengers were on the bus when it struck the tractor-trailer.
After the collision, according to Sharpe, “The bus flipped onto its side. I was thankful I was alive and started thinking about how to get out.”
Sharpe said she climbed through one of the bus’ windows, then helped Noe get out of the bus.
Despite the immediate aftermath of the wreck, “everyone seemed to be calm. It was very orderly. The EMTs did a fantastic job,” Sharpe said.
The majority of passengers were transported in activity buses to Halifax Regional Medical Center in Roanoke Rapids in activity buses, Davis said.