A special needs student led police on a 4-mile chase before crashing into this home in Allendale. (WRDW-TV / March 29, 2012)
News 12 at 11 o'clock / Thursday, March 29, 2012
ALLENDALE, S.C. -- As school let out from Allendale-Fairfax High School, one special needs student didn't want to get on his bus.
Instead, he ran to another bus.
"It's real scary," Bessie Grant said.
What's scary to her is the bus the special needs student got in had the keys in it. The student started the bus, then led officials on a 4-mile chase. That chase ended in the side of Grant's home.
"I just panicked," she said as she approached her house and saw the wreckage. "I just stopped right there in the middle of the road, shaking, crying."
Grant wasn't home at the time of the wreck, but her granddaughter was. Gloria Roberts was in Aiken but drove to Allendale to check on her 27-year-old daughter.
"My first initial thought was to get to my mom and my daughter," Roberts said. "I put my hazard lights on and I just kept rolling."
Stanley Bolden was in the same predicament. He was in Augusta when he got the call telling him his son drove a bus into the side of a house.
"I got kind of upset about it because I don't even know why he's on the bus because he can't drive," Bolden said.
He says it shouldn't have even been possible that his son turned the bus on in the first place.
"My concern is there should not have been keys on that bus," he said. "Those buses need to be in the parking lot without keys in them."
The young driver and the woman in the house were in the hospital Thursday, but both are expected to be okay.
"I thank the Lord that he's alive and not dead," Bolden said.
"I'm lucky, in a way, that my granddaughter didn't get killed," Grant said.
The Allendale County school superintendent says he will look into why the keys were left inside the bus to begin with.