BENTON COUNTY, Miss. (WMC) – A school bus driver is dead and at least eight children were injured in a crash in Benton County, Mississippi Tuesday morning.
The crash happened before 8 a.m. near Highway 72 and Whippoorwill Road. According to the Mississippi Highway Patrol, the driver, William “Chester” Cole, died at the scene.
Multiple children were rushed to hospitals in Memphis and DeSoto County. According to Dr. Regan Williams, Trauma Medical Director at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, says their doctors treated eight children. Four were brought in by air ambulance, two by ground ambulance and two more by private vehicle.
Williams says the four children who were airlifted are considered serious but not critical. They are being admitted to the hospital. The other four children suffered minor injuries and will likely go home Tuesday.
David Loyd spoke with WMC Action News 5 at Le Bonheur. He says his stepdaughter, 13-year-old Halie Williams, was one of the children injured in the crash. He says she suffered a broken jaw, broken leg and broken ankle. Still, Loyd says he’s grateful her injuries weren’t any worse.
“I’m just going to give her great big old hug and tell her that I’m glad she’s alright,” said Loyd.
A spokesperson for Methodist Olive Branch Hospital says one victim was treated there but didn’t discuss the injuries.
Bostick says Cole worked for the district for five years, calling him trusted and dependable.
No other vehicles were involved in the crash.