Driver faces 19 child abuse charges after wreck with a North Carolina school bus

(WSOC)

ALEXANDER COUNTY, N.C. — A woman, who officials say crossed the center line while driving and forced a school bus to overturn in Alexander County, is facing 19 counts of child abuse, WSOC reports.

According to officials, the bus carrying 19 students was headed to West Alexander Middle School when a Toyota passenger car traveling in the opposite direction crossed the center line and collided with the bus. The impact from the crash reportedly caused the bus to drive off the roadway and overturn.

The station reports 13 students and the bus driver, Rita McCauley, were transported to the hospital for injuries ranging from bruises to broken bones after the Monday wreck. Officials said one student is in critical condition after suffering serious, but not life-threatening injuries.

Investigators said they initially charged the driver of the Toyota, Kimberly Austin, 56, with driving while impaired and driving left of center.

She is now facing more than a dozen child abuse charges.

WSOC spoke with Austin on Monday, and she said her thoughts were with the injured children.

Read more at WSOC.

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