Woman in bus accident in serious condition

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 6, 2014

Hospital officials say a Livingstone administrator who was injured in a Tuesday morning wreck on Woodleaf Road remains in serious condition.
Melissa Rivers, 40, director of career services, was traveling on Woodleaf Road as a Rowan-Salisbury school bus was traveling in the opposite direction. She crossed the center line, driving into the path of the bus. Her vehicle clipped the bus after Rivers tried to swerve, Highway Patrol officials said.
The bus driver, Gloria Mesimer-Koontz also tried to swerve, but the two were not able to move in time.
The rear of Rivers’ vehicle struck the front of the school bus, causing the car to spin and run off the shoulder. Rivers’ 2013 Infiniti hit a fence and came to rest in a field.
The wreck happened shortly before 10 a.m. in the 2500 block of Woodleaf Road between West Ridge Road and Holly Leaf apartments. Rivers was not wearing a seatbelt, but was not ejected from the car. She was in stable condition, hours after the crash, but officials with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem said her condition was serious Wednesday morning. A hospital official said an updated condition was not available later Wednesday.
It is not clear if Rivers had a medical condition or if inattention led to the crash, a trooper said.
Trooper B.P. Potts said Rivers was not traveling at an excessive speed, estimating her speed about 60 mph. The speed limit on that stretch of road is 55 mph.
Rivers suffered a “critical” head injury, a first responder said. She was found unresponsive. EMS took her to Rowan Medical Center, where a helicopter was waiting.
Six students on the bus complained of pain, but only one student, 9-year-old Camdon Blakely, was taken to Novant Health Rowan Medical Center with neck pain. There were 28 students on the bus, a fourth-grade class returning to Woodleaf Elementary School from a play at the Norvell Theater, said Rowan-Salisbury school spokeswoman Rita Foil.
The other students on the bus were OK. The bus sustained heavy damage to the front end. Emergency responders asked for another bus to come and take the students away.
The back of Rivers’ vehicle sustained considerable damage while the driver’s side and front had virtually none. The contents of Rivers’ car including papers with Livingstone College letterhead and personal items including a scarf and boots littered the side of the roadway. A bumper, tire and muffler were strewn in the field yards from where the vehicle settled.