A Taylorsville woman charged with driving while impaired after colliding with an Alexander County School bus in December is facing more charges.56-year-old Kimberly Ann Austin was arrested Thursday by the North Carolina Highway Patrol and charged with eight counts of serious injury by a vehicle while engaged in the offense of impaired driving. Austin was charged after she sideswiped a a bus on Icard Ridge Road near West Alexander Middle School the morning of December 17, 2018.
The crash happened shortly after 7:30 am. According to the troopers investigating the accident, the bus was about 500 yards from the entrance to the school traveling north. Austin’s passenger car was heading south when the two vehicles collided. The bus went off the roadway and overturned. The passenger car ended up a short distance away down an embankment. At least 13 students were transported to area hospitals after the crash, some critical injuries. All victims have since been released from medical care. Austin of Taylorsville was traveling at 71 miles per hour when her can made contact with the bus. Patrol Master Trooper Jeffrey Swagger indicates that Austin had reached a speed of 86 miles per hour after leaving the school, dropping off a student. A juvenile was a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the crash and sustained minor injures.
Austin is being held under a $500,000 secured bond in the Alexander County Detention Center.