Man arrested after collision with SDPC bus

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

EASLEY — A man faces charges following a collision between a school bus and a pickup truck in Easley on Thursday afternoon.

Easley Police Department public information officer Sgt. Ashley Anderson said Drake Lesley is charged with driving under the influence and simple possession of marijuana. He was being held at the Pickens County Detention Center at press time Tuesday.

Lesley was driving a pickup on U.S. Highway 123 at 4:45 p.m. Thursday when he attempted to make the exit onto South Pendleton Street, cutting off the school bus, she said.

The truck clipped the front of the bus, causing the small pickup to overturn, Anderson said.

The school bus was carrying the driver, an aide and one student, according to School District of Pickens County spokesman Darian Byrd.

“They were getting ready to go to their last stop of the day,” he said.

No one on the bus was injured, Byrd said.

“They did get checked out as a precaution, but they were fine,” he said.

Lesley was not injured in the collision, Anderson said.

“He was very lucky he didn’t get hurt,” Byrd said.

The collision occurred near Silver Bay restaurant in the outbound lanes of Highway 123, he said.

“The bus was in the right lane right there at the exit,” Byrd said. “The truck wanted to make that exit and pulled right over in front of the bus. The truck was going very slow. It was almost like one of those police maneuvers. The bus hit it in just the right spot to cause it to overturn.

“We are very thankful for the way this driver and the aide handled this situation, staying very calm throughout the entire incident,” he continued.

The bus sustained little damage in the collision “other than popping the hood up and a few dents on the hood,” he said.

This week, the school district is celebrating Bus Driver Appreciation Week, Byrd said.

“We continue to be very appreciative of the hard work that our entire bus fleet does every day to safely transport students to and from school,” he said.