CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The driver of a church bus involved an accident on I-77 Sunday afternoon that killed a woman and sent four others to the hospital is being charged.
Officials said Monday that Scotty Garry Lewis is being charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle in the death of 87-year-old Daisy Withers.
The accident occurred on I-77 southbound near the W. John Belk entrance. According to Highway Patrol, Lewis was attempting to change lanes to get off on the exit when he hit the wall, causing the engine to catch on fire.
Withers, a passenger on the bus, was unable to get out of the vehicle and died in the accident. Four other individuals were transported to the hospital, including one person listed in critical condition, according to officials.
Multiple first response vehicles were working to clear the scene throughout the afternoon and major delays were being reported at that time for traffic heading south on the highway.
The bus was later identified as belonging to the Victory Christian Center, a local church. Marilyn Gool, the wife of one of the pastors at the church, expressed her condolences and apologies to those affected by the accident.
“We are a family, a church family, so we care deeply about each and every one of our members,” said Gool.
At a weekly service held at the Center on Sunday evenings, Gool identified Withers as the parishoner who died in the accident. Gool also noted that her husband was currently at the hospital with the injured church members.
“Pastor Gool is focusing on comforting and ministering to the family of those who have either lost loved ones or are suffering and in recovery at this time,” said Gool.
The injured passengers identified in the accident were Lewis, the bus driver, as well as Alicia Wilson, Anne Collins and Marion Staten.
“Right now we are just processing everything and focusing our attention on the people who are hurting," said Gool.
Gool said she is trying to process what has happened but asked for the community to pray for them as they work through this difficult time.
Highway Patrol said they were going back to the bus to inspect the parts and see if they can learn anymore about what led to this crash.