School Bus Accident

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Students avoid serious injury after school bus hit by driver

By Rupert Howell

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An accident involving a school bus and a car on Liberty Hill Road led only to minor injuries to one student and the bus driver last Friday afternoon.

The condition of the car’s driver was unavailable but accounts of those at the wreck site said the car’s driver didn’t appear to be seriously injured although he was transported by ambulance.

Eighteen students were aboard South Panola School bus No. 945 as it was headed north on the road, located in southeast Panola County between Shuford and Eureka communities, when it met the oncoming vehicle.

School transportation director Robert Chapman said the bus was heading down a hill around a curve and stated that the bus driver saw the oncoming car and tried to avoid it.

The car hit the bus on the driver’s side behind the front wheel and continued down the side of the bus until it hit the rear wheels which sent the car off the side of the road into a ditch.

Chapman said both the student and bus driver Ricky Faulkner were checked and released from a medical facility where the driver had a sprained thumb and the student had a knot on the head.

Chapman estimated damage to the bus at $3,000 and said that he did not know if any citiations were issued although noting, ”He (investigating sheriff’s deputy Justin Maples)  didn’t give the bus driver a ticket.”

According to the Panola County Sheriff’s Office, the driver of the car was ticketed for driving while license suspended and no proof of liability insurance.

“The driver was taken by ambulance to Tri-Lakes and treated for minor injuries,” Panola S.O. administrative assistant Robbie Haley said after speaking with Maples.