Wheel on the bus goes round and round – and off

From staff reportsApril 17, 2013 

— Wake County school transportation mechanics and managers began an investigation Wednesday into how a wheel fell off a bus full of middle and high school students at an intersection early in the day.

The bus carrying students to Ligon Middle School and Enloe High School when a wheel fell off near Leesville Road and Fairbanks Drive about 6:15 a.m., officials said. No one was hurt, police said, and a second bus came to the scene and took the students.

The wheel rolled off and damaged a roadside utility box, schools spokeswoman Renee McCoy said.

Police directed traffic around the disabled bus while mechanics were called and towed the bus to a district garage.

McCoy said it was the outside wheel of a dual-wheel pair on the left rear of the bus that came loose.

The remaining wheel kept the bus from tipping toward the ground, she said.

The bus driver told officials she had done the walk-around safety check that the state requires of drivers before every bus trip.

McCoy said transportation officials said the driver told them that the lug nuts that hold a wheel to an axle were in place then.

All school buses in the system under 30-day inspections by mechanics of their lights and other systems, and the bus that lost the wheel had been checked on April 2, McCoy said.

The bus also has had the standard 5,000-mile overhauls that all buses get, she said.

No problems were seen in either inspection, officials reported.

There was no obvious defect that would have led to the wheel coming off, McCoy said.

Mechanics now are "reviewing to try to determine what may have caused the wheel to come off," she said.

"We really, really look at everything we can do to protect" students on buses so that parents know they are safe on their way to school, she added.

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