STOKESDALE, N.C. – A mother driving with her baby faces charges of driving while impaired in connection to a crash with a van that injured 17 people.
Diadra Rachel Shaffer, 35, of Stokesdale, has been charged with driving while impaired, careless and reckless driving, misdemeanor child abuse, driving left of center and driving with a license revoked.
Crews responded to the scene shortly after 7 a.m. after authorities said a Chevy Blazer driven by the suspect headed northeast on Hwy. 158 crossed the center line in the area of 9010 Hwy. 158.
The bus went to the right to try to avoid the crash and the two collided, causing the bus to overturn, according to Trooper J.T. Mitchell with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
Seventeen people were injured at the scene, including 15 from the bus and two from the Blazer, according to Mitchell.
Fifteen were taken to hospitals by an ambulance and two were airlifted. The suspect, who drove the Blazer, and her 1-month-old child in the Blazer were injured, with the driver being serious.
The van contained one serious injury and others having minor injuries, according to Christopher Knox, North Carolina State Highway Patrol master trooper.
Five patients were taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, two that were airlifted and three taken in an ambulance.
Seven were taken to Moses Cone in Greensboro, three were taken to High Point Regional and two other patients taken to Moses Cone MedCenter in High Point.
Highway patrol said the suspect was under the influence of an impairing substance other than alcohol.
The driver of the Ford van was identified as James Edward Martin, 60, of Martinsville, Va.
The van was a rental vehicle and the people inside were a group from the Kingdom Hall Jehovah’s Witnesses of Martinsville, Va. traveling to Salisbury, according to Knox.
US-158 was closed for several hours due to a hazmat spill of gasoline from the Ford van, but has since reopened.
Shaffer is due in court Dec. 15.