Sullivan County school bus allegedly runs red light, causing collision

Rain Smith • Oct 1, 2010 at 11:09 AM

A Sullivan County school bus ran a red light Friday morning, according to police, causing a two-car collision that propelled it over a median and into the opposite lane of traffic.

The bus had finished its route when the incident occurred and no students were aboard. There were no injuries in the incident, while each driver was cited.

It occurred shortly after 8 a.m. at the intersection of Highway 11W and Highway 394. According to Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper David Osborne, the bus was approaching the intersection from the eastbound lane of traffic when the traffic signal turned red.

The bus continued through the intersection, according to witness statements to police, striking a 1996 Toyota T100 that had a green light to enter 11W from 394. The Toyota sustained heavy front-end damage, while the front passenger side of the bus was impaired.

The bus ended up coming to a stop approximately 50 yards from the impact area, facing the wrong way in the westbound lane, after crossing the median. Both vehicles had to be towed from the scene.

Police identify the driver of the bus, which is registered to the Sullivan County School System, as Tonya Stewart, 37, of 594 Country Home Road, Blountville. She was cited for failure to yield.

The driver of the Toyota was identified as Jessica Membreno, 26, of Marietta, Ga. She was charged with driving without a license, registration and insurance.

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