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One dead in wreck with school bus
No students injured in collision
WEB bus wreck 11-2-09
The driver of this Nissan Sentra was killed when the vehicle turned into the path of a school bus at Doc Bramblett and Spot roads. - photo by Jim Dean

A 45-year-old woman was killed Monday afternoon when the vehicle she was driving struck a school bus northwest of Cumming, authorities said.

The collision happened about 4:45 p.m. at Doc Bramblett and Spot roads. (click for map)

Authorities said Isabel Mora Zavala of Pilgrim Road turned left from Spot Road onto Doc Bramblett Road and into the path of the northbound school bus.

The bus struck the blue 2006 Nissan Sentra on the driver's side.

Forsyth County Sheriff’s Capt. Frank Huggins said Zavala worked at a local food processing plant, though authorities are not sure where she was going at the time of the wreck.

“Afternoon sun may have affected her vision and evidence at the scene indicates she was using her cell phone at the time of the crash,” Huggins said.

Jennifer Caracciolo, spokeswoman for the Forsyth County school system, said neither of the two people on the school bus were injured.

The driver, 47-year-old Holly Ann Charles of Canton, and her 16-year-old son were on board at the time. The teen is a local high school student, Caracciolo said.

She said Charles, who has worked for the district since 1999, had just finished her route, which was from Forsyth Central High School.

Bruce Wagar, the school district's director of safety and discipline, said Charles was “shaken up” after the collision.

“She was just trembling,” he said.

Authorities said no charges are expected in connection with the wreck. There was no evidence that alcohol or drugs were involved.

The incident had residents who live near the intersection talking about safety concerns.

Minta Chadwick heard Monday's collision from inside her home. She said she has seen a lot of “near misses” where Spot and Doc Bramblett roads meet, adding that the crossing could use a traffic light.

Crystal Sosebee agreed with Chadwick. She said the wreck was “heartbreaking.”

“This is a very bad intersection,” Sosebee said. “Especially for teenagers that just got their licenses. They come flying through here.”

Holbert Garmon, who is Chadwick’s neighbor, was home when the vehicles collided.

“I heard the tires hollerin' but I didn’t see the impact,” he said. “We need traffic lights real bad.”