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School buses encounter icy roads

Originally published: Jan. 28, 2013
Last modified: Jan. 28, 2013

Heather Canter

Area schools were on a two-hour delay Monday morning, but some students experienced an even longer wait before boarding their bus and arriving to school.

Due to overnight rain and low temperatures which produced icy roads in some areas, two local school buses slid off the roadway in the Laurel Springs area, according to Ashe County School’s Transportation Director Shea Coldiron.

The buses had not picked up any students when they slid off the highway. No other vehicles were involved and there were no injuries, Coldiron said in a phone interview. The school bus garage sent its wrecker to pull the buses out of the ditch. By mid-morning all buses had arrived safely at school.

The two buses in Laurel Springs were the only ones that slid off the roadway, but Coldiron said there were other buses that encountered icy roads and were able to pull over until salt trucks came by and treated the road.

During a two-hour delay, buses still have to start their routes as early as 7 a.m. However, if drivers see icy or slick roads and report it to the county office, the transportation staff then tries to relay the message to the other drivers by calling their cell phones. Coldiron said they weren’t always able to get through right away because cell phone reception isn’t very good in some outer-lying areas. 

ACS staff work hand-in-hand with the North Carolina Department of Transportation and ACS transportation staff to check out the county’s roads. After staff have checked out various routes and give their reports to the school superintendent, a decision is then made whether school will be canceled or on a one- or two-hour delay. In some cases, school will be held, but with limited bus routes.

Announcements about school closings are generally posted on-line at

For more information and stories, see Ashe Mountain Times.