School bus with children onboard crashes in Gaston County

A school bus filled with middle school children overturned in Gaston County on Wednesday afternoon.

The crash happened on Chapel Grove Road near Linwood Road near a sharp curve. It involved bus No. 81 from Southwest Middle School.

Nearly 50 children were on the bus when it crashed, officials said. None of them appeared to be seriously injured, but as many as 15 were transported to local hospitals, according to first responders.

Justin Carver, 11, said he was sitting by a window when the bus ran off the road, then flipped. He heard screaming, and his head hit the window, causing a slight bruise above his right eye. Justin’s father was taking him to the hospital to get the eye checked out, although the boy said the pain wasn’t severe.

People from a nearby church ran to the crash scene to help the injured students, Justin said.

Both directions of Chapel Grove Road were blocked and parents waited anxiously outside the police barricades for word about their children.

Video from news helicopters showed the bus on its side with first responders and students outside the vehicle. Students had been loaded onto backboards.

Liz Reyes told the Observer she got a phone call at work from her 12-year-old daughter, Hannah. Hannah was hysterical, but OK, Reyes said.

“I just wanted to get her,” she said. “I just want to get her home.”

Melanie Massagee said her 13-year-old grandson was on the bus. His head and arm were hurting, but he had no serious injuries.