Buford Middle School student struck at bus stop

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By Reece Murphy

A Buford Middle School student was hospitalized Thursday morning, April 18, after he was struck by a pickup truck while crossing the road at his bus stop near Buford Crossroads.

S.C. Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Bill Elder said the accident happened about 7:10 a.m. on Pageland Highway (S.C. 9) just past the intersection of Rocky River Road (S.C. 522).

Though Lancaster County School District officials were unable to name the student due to district policy, the teen was later identified via social media posts as 13-year-old Patrick Burgess.

District Safety and Transportation Director Bryan Vaughn said the accident happened when the teen decided to break his usual morning habit of waiting on his side of the road for the bus to arrive and stop traffic before crossing and boarding.

The bus had not yet arrived when the accident happened, Vaughn said.

“There are two kids who normally would have gotten on there,” Vaughn said “This child lives on the left (north) side, and the other lives on the other side, one on each side of the road.

“For whatever reason, the child crossed the road this morning, and got struck by the vehicle,” he said. “It’s my understanding the driver didn’t do anything wrong.”

Vaughn said reports from those on the scene said Burgess suffered “some definite injuries” to his lower extremities and shoulder, but that he was conscious and aware of those around him after the accident.

He said Burgess was flown to Carolinas Medical Center Main in Charlotte, where family members reported he was still undergoing diagnostic testing late Thursday morning but was expected to recover from the non-life-threatening injuries.

“He definitely had some serious injuries, but we think he’ll be able to survive them,” Vaughn said.

Information about Burgess’ condition was not available from CMC  by press time Thursday.

Elder identified the driver of the eastbound 1991 Toyota pickup as 24-year-old Joel McLemore of Lancaster. McLemore was not injured in the accident.

Though McLemore had not been charged with the accident as of Thursday afternoon, Elder said the accident remains under investigation.

Meanwhile, at Buford Middle School, Principal Sheri Wells described Burgess as “a great kid with a big heart.”

“Our prayers are with the family,” she said.


Contact reporter Reece Murphy at (803) 283-1151 A