Students checked at hospitals after school bus wreck

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 14, 2004

NATCHEZ &045;&045; Thirty-one children were taken to Natchez hospitals as a precaution Thursday afternoon after their school bus collided with a red Honda on Morgantown Road.

The driver of the school bus, Dorothy Carter, 51, of Natchez, was leaving Morgantown Elementary School just after 3 p.m. when the bus struck the stopped Honda from behind, said Ron Idom, general manager of Durham bus services.

&uot;She (the bus driver) hit the brakes and the bus slid on the wet streets,&uot; Idom said. &uot;She did the right thing and steered toward the ditch but took the corner of the car on the way.&uot;

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Natchez Police Chief Mike Mullins said neither driver was cited in the accident.

Though none of the children had serious injuries, several were complaining of aches and dizziness at the scene of the accident. All children were loaded onto other buses and taken to either Natchez Community Hospital or Natchez Regional Medical Center. The children were from Morgantown Elementary and Frazier Primary schools. School officials from nearby Morgantown Elementary and other Natchez-Adams schools were at the scene and were later at the hospitals contacting parents.

Eight of the students were taken to Natchez Regional Medical Center along with the driver of the car, 17-year-old Lauren Hauer.

Jack Houghton, Natchez Regional CEO, said there were no serious injuries and all students were treated and released.

Mullins said both drivers were treated and released.

The remaining 23 patients were taken to Natchez Community Hospital where a code yellow for extensive mass casualties was called and emergency triage was set up.

&uot;It’s a procedure that we practice and hope that we will never put into use,&uot; Community CEO Allen Tyra said. &uot;And today we put it into use and it worked.&uot;

Of Community’s 23 patients 11 had no injuries and 12 were treated.

Idom said an investigation was still underway, but that no charges would be filed.

Louisiana Editor Jessica Waldon contributed to this report.