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Civil suit filed against school system, school board

SALISBURY — A civil lawsuit involving a school bus accident has been filed against the Rowan-Salisbury Schools.

The suit, Roberts and Roberts vs. Dunlap and the Rowan-Salisbury School System, was filed at the Rowan County Courthouse on July 28. The plaintiffs argue that bus driver Denita Yow Dunlap showed negligence that resulted in injury. The RSS Board of Education is also listed as a defendant.

According to the complaint, plaintiffs Deborah Cromwell Roberts and Malik Kair Roberts, both of Salisbury, were injured in an Aug. 28, 2014, accident. Roberts reported that she was driving a 1999 Toyota on Crawford Street in Salisbury at the time of the accident, about 7:23 a.m. Malik Roberts was a passenger in the Toyota, and Dunlap is identified as the bus driver.

Roberts alleges that she was driving north on Crawford and Dunlap was driving south. Roberts said she stopped her vehicle to allow Dunlap to go past her from a curve Dunlap had entered.

“When suddenly and without warning, the defendant, Donita Yow Dunlap, turned her vehicle partially through the pass, sideswiping the left side of the plaintiffs’ 1999 Toyota vehicle, causing injuries,” the complaint reads.

The Robertses argue that Dunlap was negligent because she failed to maintain a proper lookout, failed to keep her vehicle under control, failed to keep a “prudent” speed and failed to “properly and timely apply the brakes of her vehicle” or alter its course.

Deborah Roberts says she had neck and back injuries and Malik Roberts said he suffered back injuries as a direct result of the accident. Both say they received medical care for their injuries.

The two are suing Dunlap and the school system for an amount in excess of $25,000 each. They are being represented by Patterson and Adams Injury Lawyers of Gastonia.

Both Rowan-Salisbury Schools and Board of Education officials said they could not comment on pending litigation. A Post reporter left a message with the Robertses’ lawyer requesting comment. The call was not returned by press time Tuesday.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264. 

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