CONNELLY SPRINGS — A Newton woman could face charges after officials said the car she was driving crossed the center line and collided with a Burke County school bus Monday.

Wendy Michelle Clarke, 34, was driving a BMW north on Miller Bridge Road when the wreck happened around 4:30 p.m., said Trooper C. Hallyburton of the N.C. State Highway Patrol.

Based off damage and marks on the road, it appears Clarke crossed the yellow line and collided with the front driver’s side of bus 216, Hallyburton said. Eight Icard Elementary School students were on board.

The car then went down an embankment after a tire blew out and came to rest in the grass, while the bus came to rest in the road. Clarke was travelling with her 17-year-old son, Hallyburton said.

One student and the bus driver, Brenda Robbins, 44, of Morganton, were evaluated at a local hospital as a precaution, Hallyburton said. Neither vehicle appeared to be travelling faster than the speed limit, which is 45 mph, he said.

While initial evidence shows Clarke crossed the center line, Hallyburton said the bus’s camera footage will be used to determine charges.

Principal Daniel Wall and the Burke County Public Schools Director of Transportation responded to the scene. Hallyburton said he believes parents also arrived to pick up their children.

Icard Township Fire Rescue and Burke County EMS assisted at the scene. One lane of traffic was closed until about 5:45 p.m.

The impact caused the bus’s tire to deflate, Hallyburton said. Both vehicles were towed from the scene.

Get today’s top stories right in your inbox. Sign up for our daily newsletter.

Recommended for you