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Driver charged after fiery crash kills woman on I-77 near uptown Charlotte

Woman killed as church bus crashes in Charlotte

A bus crashed and burst into flames on I-77 southbound in Charlotte, N.C., on May 26, 2019, killing an elderly woman and injuring four other people, according to local reports. The crash caused major delays for several hours.
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A bus crashed and burst into flames on I-77 southbound in Charlotte, N.C., on May 26, 2019, killing an elderly woman and injuring four other people, according to local reports. The crash caused major delays for several hours.

A church bus crashed and burned near uptown Charlotte on Sunday afternoon, killing a passenger and injuring several others, Charlotte Observer news partner WBTV reported.

Scotty Garry Lewis was driving the bus belonging to Victory Christian Center southbound on Interstate 77 when he lost control, WBTV reported. According to the State Highway Patrol, Lewis was attempting to change lanes when he hit a wall, causing a fire in the engine, WBTV reported.

An 87-year-old woman wasn’t able to get out of the bus and died, according to WBTV. That person was Daisy Withers, a parishioner with Victory Christian, according to Marilyn Gool, the wife of one of the church’s pastors, WBTV reported.

Lewis has been charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle, State Highway Patrol Trooper Ray Pierce confirmed Tuesday.

Four others on the bus were hospitalized, including Lewis and passengers Alicia Wilson, Anne Collins and Marion Staten, according to WBTV.

The church held services at 7 p.m. Sunday.

“We are a family, a church family. We care deeply about each and every one of our members,” Gool told WBTV on Sunday. “We are just so sorry about what’s happened.”

The accident and resulting fire closed the southbound lanes of I-77 near the merge with the W. John Belk Freeway, snarling traffic for several hours.

Amanda Harris covers issues related to children and families in York, Chester and Lancaster County for The Herald. Amanda works with local schools, parents and community members to address important topics such as school security, mental health and the opioid epidemic. She graduated from Winthrop University.
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