School bus involved in five-vehicle collision; Students not injured

Published 12:56 am Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ben hillyer | The Natchez Democrat — Laila Jones is hoisted over a temporary concrete barrier into her mother Kenyatta Jones’ arms Tuesday afternoon after the bus Laila was riding was involved in a five-vehicle accident.

NATCHEZ — A four-car, one-school bus pileup on D’Evereux Drive slowed traffic for more than an hour Tuesday, but no major injuries were reported.

The bus, which was sandwiched by three cars in front and one car behind, only had minor damage, but most of the other cars had significant damage.

Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat — A Toyota Matrix, top left, became lodged beneath the back end of the bus Tuesday afternoon. .

Anita McGruder, driver of the second car in line of the five-vehicle accident, said her Ford Focus hit the car in front of her when the first car stopped short.

Email newsletter signup

A Nissan Sentra then hit McGruder’s car, and a school bus hit the back end of the Sentra, crunching the trunk. Behind the bus, the entire bumper and part of the hood and engine of a Toyota Matrix became lodged beneath the back end of the bus.

The accident occurred at approximately 3:30 p.m. in the westbound lane near the flyover construction at Seargent S. Prentiss Drive.

McGruder said an ambulance transported the driver of the first car to the hospital, though she didn’t think serious injuries were involved.

The Durham school bus was carrying approximately 26 children from Frazier Primary and Morgantown Elementary schools, Natchez-Adams School District Security Supervisor Ray Brown said.

Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat — LaWanda Smith and her twin daughters Makayla and Makyla Hargrave, pass by the damage to one of the cars.

Brown said school nurses checked on each student on board the bus following the accident before many of their parents picked them up on the scene.

No children were hospitalized.

“There was very little damage (to the bus),” Brown said, noting the bumper was damaged.

Brown stopped traffic periodically, which was already bottlenecked into one lane adjacent to the accident, to drop of children from the bus to their parents. Parents waited at a temporary service road for their children before showing identification to pick them up. Approximately an hour after the accident occurred, Brown said the remaining children would board another bus and be dropped off at home.

Had a car not been stuck under the bus, Brown said it would have been able to continue on the route because of the minimal damage.

Natchez police on the scene said citations were being written, but no one at NPD could confirm later Tuesday evening who received citations or offer more information about other possible injuries.