A woman accused of causing a school bus to crash in Alexander County in December 2018 will spend more than 3 years in prison.
Kimberly Ann Austin pleaded guilty on Tuesday to Driving While Impaired and eight counts of felony serious injury by a motor vehicle.
Thirteen students were injured after the crash on Icard Ridge Road, near the Bethlehem community. The bus was carrying 19 students and headed to West Alexander Middle School when a Toyota passenger car traveling in the opposite direction crossed the centerline and collided with the bus. The impact from the crash caused the bus to drive off the roadway and overturn.
Austin was arrested and charged in March 2019 with two counts of misdemeanor child abuse. The child abuse charges were related to her grandchildren in the car.
13 students and the bus driver were transported to hospitals for injuries ranging from bruises to broken bones. The driver and 12 students were released the day of the crash. One student was transferred to Brenner Children’s Hospital at Wake Forest University Medical Center.