School bus driver charged in deadly motorcycle crash

WASHINGTON COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - A school bus driver has been charged in a deadly accident with a motorcycle last week.

The Highway Patrol says Sonya Rascoe of Plymouth is charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.

Rascoe was driving a Washington County school bus on Thursday that troopers say pulled out into the path of the motorcycle. Michael Bannerman, 54, was thrown from his motorcycle and died in the crash.

No children were on the bus when the crash happened around 3:15 p.m. at the intersection of West Buncombe and Railroad streets in Roper.

Troopers say Bannerman was speeding, but Rascoe's failure to yield was a contributing factor in the crash.


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Troopers say charges may be pending against a school bus driver in a deadly crash Thursday with a motorcycle.

The Highway Patrol says Michael Bannerman, 54, was killed after colliding with a Washington County school bus at the intersection of West Buncombe Street and Railroad Street around 3:15 p.m. in Roper.

Officials say Bannerman was traveling westbound when he crashed into the bus and was thrown from his motorcycle.

Originally, troopers told WITN that Bannerman was on a moped. They now say the man's motorcycle was incorrectly classified by the DMV as a moped.

Officials say Bannerman was speeding, while the school bus, driven by Sonya Rascoe of Plymouth, had just pulled out from a stop sign.

Bannerman was thrown from his motorcycle, and his bike became wedged under the bus and dragged for a distance. Troopers say Rascoe failed to yield to the motorcycle..

There were no children on the bus at the time, only Rascoe and a second driver who was being taken to another bus.

The speed limit on the road is 25 miles per hour. While troopers say they know Bannerman was exceeding that, they don't know how fast he was going.

The Highway Patrol says they will consult with the district attorney about charges in the death.


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Authorities have released the name of a moped driver killed in a crash Thursday afternoon.

The Highway Patrol says Michael Bannerman, 54, was killed after colliding with a Washington County school bus at the intersection of SR-1122 and SR-1175 around 3:15 p.m. near Roper.

Officials say Bannerman was traveling westbound when he crashed into the bus and was thrown from his moped.

Officials say Bannerman was speeding and the school bus failed to yield. There is no word yet on whether any charges will be filed.

No one on the bus was injured.



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Washington County Schools put out an alert to parents Thursday evening regarding an accident with one of their buses that left one person dead.

The Facebook post says bus drivers were on board a bus and were being shuttled to their respective schools when a moped hit the bus in Roper.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the driver," the district writes.

No students or staff were injured.

They say some of the drivers that witnessed the accident were too shaken up to complete their routes, which meant it took some students longer than normal to get home.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office would not provide WITN information Thursday evening on the accident.