The crash took place on the morning of Sept. 10 in Benton County, a Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesman confirmed to The Epoch Times.
He said there were “multiple injuries” from the crash, which took place on Highway 72.
Troopers were still working on confirming whether the school bus driver was killed.
Benton County School Superintendent told WJTV that the driver, Chester Cole, was killed in the crash.
REPORTS from Benton County School Superintendent: The school bus driver, Chester Cole died. 3 children were airlifted to Le Bonheur Children’s hospital in Memphis.
— Candace S. Coleman (@candacescoleman) September 10, 2019
Three children in the crash were airlifted to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, the superintendent said.
According to WREG, two of the children were rushed to Methodist Olive Branch while the other five were taken to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital via ambulance and helicopter.
A photograph published by the outlet showed the yellow bus in a ditch on the side of the highway, resting on its right side.
The two westbound lanes of the highway were closed as officials investigated the crash. Traffic was diverted to one of the eastbound lanes, turning the highway temporarily into a two-lane road.
Accident involving a school bus and a truck on Walnut Grove at Goodlett. Working to gather more info on whether kids were on board/injured #memtraffic
— Chelsea Chandler (@Local24Chelsea) September 10, 2019
Two Other Crashes
Another accident took place in Memphis on Tuesday morning involving a school bus and a track.
That crash took place at Jackson Avenue and Merton Street, reported WREG.
One child was rushed to Le Bonheur.
Another crash took place on Walnut Grove at Goodlett, reported Local 24.
School Bus Crashes
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a 2019 report (pdf), there were 1,113 school transportation-related fatal motor vehicle crashes between 2008 and 2017.
“Between 2008 and 2017, there have been 1,241 people killed in school-transportation-related crashes—an average of 124 fatalities per year. Twenty-one percent (264) of these fatalities were of school-age children (18 and younger),” the report said.
Most of the people who died in the crashes, or 70 percent, were in other vehicles. Another 20 percent were nonoccupants such as pedestrians and bicyclists.
Among the 126 school bus occupants who died in school transportation-related crashes during those years, 55 were drivers and 71 were passengers. The majority of those killed out of pedestrians and occupants were 19 or older.
“From 2008 to 2017, there were 264 school-age children who died in school transportation-related crashes: 61 were occupants of school transportation vehicles, 100 were occupants of other vehicles, 97 were pedestrians, 5 were pedalcyclists, and 1 was other nonoccupant,” the report stated.
Most of the crashes took place between the hours of 6 and 9 a.m. and 2 and 5 p.m., the administration noted.
While accidents happen, the administration said in a bus safety overview that students are about 70 times more likely to get to school safely when taking a school bus versus traveling by car.
“That’s because school buses are the most regulated vehicles on the road; they’re designed to be safer than passenger vehicles in preventing crashes and injuries; and in every state, stop-arm laws protect children from other motorists,” the administration stated.
“School buses are designed so that they’re highly visible and include safety features such as flashing red lights, cross-view mirrors, and stop-sign arms. They also include protective seating, high crush standards, and rollover protection features. Laws protect students who are getting off and on a school bus by making it illegal for drivers to pass a school bus while dropping off or picking up passengers, regardless of the direction of approach.”