It was a normal school morning as 14-year-old Erek Adams and his mother Mrs. Adams waited for the school bus. Mrs. Adams even though the bus was on time like it was almost every morning — but what happened after was far from normal.
“As the bus turned onto County Road 424, Erek got out of my jeep,” Adams said. “I stood on the side of my jeep, holding both of my dogs as I watched Erek walk in front of the bus.”
After watching her son turn the corner in front of the bus is when things got hectic. Adams said, “As soon as he rounded the front of the bus, I heard the sound of car tires screech and the sound of a crash.”
The speeding blue car hit the bus so hard that the bus moved over at least half the width of the bus into the other lane, Adams said.
Not knowing if her son had been injured in the crash, Adams had to run and duck to avoid being struck by debris from the “David vs. Goliath” impact. “Once I noticed that everyone on the bus were okay, I went back to my car to locate my cell phone.”
Amid all the chaos, Adams realized that the bus driver still had the stop sign and lights engaged. Adams and a gentleman who was also impacted by the speeding car both called 911.
“The Anna ISD Transportation and an Anna Police Officer both arrived on scene,” Adams said. “They assessed the passengers on the bus and the other driver who was parked in observance of the bus loading, as well as the damage to the bus.
“The fire department arrived next and the Sheriff’s officers arrived last,” she continued. “The Sheriff’s officers questioned the driver of the speeding car.”
Adams said the driver appeared to be young and was not aware of the danger of what just took place. “The driver of the speeding car then approached me and told me he was sorry that it happened,” Adams said. “He said he was ‘only’ doing 50 mph and didn’t see the stopped truck or the bus.” Adams noted the speed limit on the road in question is 40 mph.
The young man has a habit of speeding and being reckless, Adams said. “I asked if he recognized my Jeep from Monday morning when he passed me at a high speed in the rain, in a no passing zone, on an uphill by Sheffield Farms as he almost clipped the back of my jeep when he passed me recklessly,” she said.
Adams credits the bus driver with being “amazing,” as she stayed calm and took care of the children very professionally amid the situation.
Anna Police could not take jurisdiction because the accident happened outside of city limits, making it fall to the Collin County Sheriff’s Department’s jurisdiction. Adams was informed that the young man lacked proof of insurance or registration.
The Adams want to know why the driver was not cited for failing to stop for a loading bus. Collin County Sheriff Lieutenant and Public Information Officer Nick Bristow said Deputy Michael Thigpen saw the need to cite the driver for a higher degree Misdemeanor.
“After investigating and reviewing the bus video, Deputy Thigpen opted for filing the Class B Misdemeanor charge of Reckless Driving instead of the Class C misdemeanor charge of Passing a Stopped School Bus,” Bristow said. “This is obviously a higher charge that carries stiffer penalties. Deputy Thigpen has obtained an arrest warrant for the driver and the case will be referred to the DA’s Office for prosecution.”
Adams said once everything calmed down, they started feeling the effects of the accident. “After the adrenaline wore off later that day, my son Erek experienced cramps and soreness in his legs as he braced for impact,” Adams said. “I am in severe pain and have been diagnosed with whiplash in my neck, torn tissue in my shoulder joint and a torn bicep muscle from the dogs running scared from the leash I was holding.”
“I am so thankful that the students, the bus driver, my son and the man driving the truck are all okay,” Adams said. “I thank God for protecting them every day. This was extremely traumatic to watch and experience.”
Adams hopes sharing her story will get people to slow down and be more cautious. “Speeding on these county roads is very dangerous. I hope that by me sharing my son’s near-death experience will caution those who speed on these county roads in hopes that they will slow down for the sake of our children’s safety.”