Teen Escapes Death by Seconds - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Saline County, IL

Teen Escapes Death by Seconds


Teen Escapes Death by Seconds
By: Arnold Wyrick

Saline County, IL - An early morning bus crash in Saline County nearly killed 16-year-old Adam Britton. It all happened shortly before 7:30 Wednesday morning, as Adam was getting on his school bus on Harrisburg Lake Road.

"Well I was getting ready to put another game in my play station, and if I would've done that, then the truck would've hit me. Two seconds later and I'd been dead," Adam said.

The truck Adam speaks about was being driven by Wes Stephens of Eldorado. And he lost control of it, slamming head on into the bus.

Adam's mother could only stand and stare in horror at what she saw.

"And when I heard the impact, I turned and saw a truck going into the ditch. I didn't think he had enough time to get across the road. I thought he was dead," says Diana Britton.

Fortunately for Adam, the bus driver, and the six other kids on the bus no one was injured.

But police say Stephens was going too fast to control his vehicle on the gravel roadway.

"A big factor like this on rural roads like this one is it's hilly. And you have to be very careful when you're topping a blind hill. You have to stay as far to the right as possible," says Deputy Jeff Oesterich of the Saline County Sheriff's Department.

Even with signs warning drivers of a bus stop ahead on Harrisburg Lake Road, and a 20 mph speed limit sign clearly posted, Britton says it's not slowing anybody down.

"We've been lucky so far, but our luck is going to run out. This is the second incident this school year. And I don't want it to take somebody getting killed before we do something with this road out here."

Charges are pending against the driver of the pick up truck, once police finish with their investigation. Telephone calls made to the Raleigh Township Road Commissioner Hal Whitlock, to ask him if theres something that can be done, have not been returned.

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