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Impaired Driver and Texting Cited in Collision with School Bus


Wake Forest, NC - On the morning of July 22, 2023, a catastrophic incident transpired in Wake Forest, North Carolina, involving a school bus and a passenger vehicle.

Details of the Collision

At approximately 7:45 AM, a school bus operated by Wake County Public School District was traveling eastbound on Rogers Road near Wake Forest High School. Simultaneously, a passenger vehicle, driven by 27-year-old Johnathan Smith of Wake Forest, was proceeding westbound on the same road.

Witnesses reported observing the passenger vehicle swerving erratically before colliding head-on with the school bus. The impact of the collision caused significant damage to both vehicles and resulted in multiple injuries.

Injuries and Medical Response

The Wake Forest Fire Department and Wake County EMS responded swiftly to the scene and rendered immediate medical assistance to the injured parties. A total of 18 individuals, including students, bus staff, and the driver of the passenger vehicle, sustained injuries.

The severity of the injuries varied from minor cuts and bruises to more serious fractures and head trauma. All injured individuals were transported to nearby hospitals for further evaluation and treatment.

Arrests and Citations

Following a thorough investigation, the Wake Forest Police Department arrested Johnathan Smith on multiple charges. These charges included:

  • Driving while impaired (DWI)
  • Careless and reckless driving
  • Texting while driving
  • Possession of an open container of alcohol

Investigation and Allegations

The Wake Forest Police Department's investigation revealed that Johnathan Smith was intoxicated and had been using his mobile phone while driving at the time of the accident. Officers confiscated an open container of alcohol from within his vehicle, further supporting the allegations of impairment.

Witnesses also corroborated the allegation that Smith had been texting while operating his vehicle, contributing to the inattention that led to the collision.

School District Response

The Wake County Public School District expressed its deep concern and support for the students, staff, and families affected by the incident. The district immediately deployed additional transportation resources to ensure the safe and timely transport of students in the Wake Forest area.

The district also initiated a full investigation into the safety protocols and procedures surrounding the transportation of students.

Community Impact and Concerns

The incident has sparked widespread concern and outrage within the Wake Forest community. Residents expressed their shock and dismay at the reckless behavior that led to the injuries of innocent children and staff members.

Advocacy groups and organizations are calling for stricter enforcement of traffic laws, especially those pertaining to impaired and distracted driving. They emphasize the need to protect the safety of all road users, particularly vulnerable populations like school children.

Legal Proceedings and Sentencing

Johnathan Smith is scheduled to appear in Wake County District Court on August 15, 2023, to face the charges against him. If convicted, he could face significant penalties, including fines, jail time, and the suspension or revocation of his driver's license.


The collision between a school bus and a passenger vehicle in Wake Forest serves as a sobering reminder of the devastating consequences of impaired and distracted driving. This incident highlights the urgent need to address these reckless behaviors through increased enforcement, education, and community vigilance. The safety and well-being of our children and all road users must remain a top priority.

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