School Bus Wreck in Fayetteville, N.C. Kills One | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

A Three-vehicle wreck happened just before 8 a.m. of today at the intersection of Raeford Road and Purdue Drive in Fayetteville, North Carolina.  The accident claimed the life of Annie Wilson Thomas, 78.  Thomas was a passenger in a white Buick LeSabre driven by Joe Ann Pelchat, 71.  Pelchat was turning left from Raeford Road onto Purdue Drive when it tuned into the path of Cumberland County School Bus.  The impact caused the Buick to collide head-on with a pickup waiting to turn right from Purdue Drive onto Raeford Road.

Medics performed CPR on Thomas for about ten minutes before an ambulance took her to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.  Fortunately, no one of the bus passengers, which included seven special need students, was hurt.  The students were handed out plastic hats and teddy bears by the fire-fighters and the police respectively while they were escorted to a second bus that was called.

Purdue Drive traffic was detoured along Breezewood Drive as it blocked the inbound lanes of Raeford  Road.  Police directed drivers around it but it resulted in a fender bender involving a school bus at Marlborough Road.  Pelchat was not mentioned to have sustained any major or minor injuries.

According to, More than 41,000 people lose their lives in motor vehicle crashes each year and over 2.4 million more suffer disabling injuries, according to the National Safety Council. The quadruple threat of distractions, high speeds, impaired or careless driving and not using occupant restraints threatens every driver—regardless of how careful or how skilled.  It always helps to check your vehicles first before driving, make sure the breaks and air bags are in perfect condition.  Use of safety belts is of utmost importance for you and your passengers especially children.

About the Editors: Shapiro & Appleton is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law and we have experience handling wrongful death cases. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Our law firm has offices in Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC) and Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA). Our attorneys have handled numerous wrongful death cases and we understand the difficult circumstances which accompany these types of cases. That’s why you need an experienced attorney to help you through the legal process. Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, VA, SC, WV, KY and DC. We are ready to talk to you by phone right now—we provide free initial confidential injury case consultations, so call us toll free at (833) 997-1774. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube .  In addition, our lawyers proudly edit the Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard, as well as the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service.