Crisp Co. Schools official addresses fatal crash involving school bus

School officials speak after bus accident

CORDELE, GA (WALB) - The Crisp County Schools superintendent is speaking out after a man died from a deadly crash with one of their school buses.

Superintendent Cindy Hughes said they checked on the 11 kids, the bus driver and the bus monitor right away.

“Our administrators immediately went to the hospital to speak with the parents of the students that were involved, as well as the bus driver,” Hughes said.

The school system was grateful the children were not hurt but were saddened about the loss.

“We also sent a counselor who was able to provide those students and the driver some counseling because they were visibly upset,” Hughes added.

As for the students and adults on the bus, school administrators told WALB they’re doing okay.

“They’ve all left the hospital and we’re just very grateful,” Hughes said.

“I think it’s due to the sun, something, I think it couldn’t been avoided cause the sun was so bright this morning,” Jackie Brown, aunt of one of the students, said of the crash.

Brown’s nephew was on his way to school when Georgia State Patrol (GSP) said a man’s truck crashed into her nephew’s school bus.

The crash happened after 7 a.m. Friday.

“Sad and my heart go out to the family of the one that lost their loved one, the one that hurt, it go out to all the kids that’s on the bus and their parents,” Brown said.

Troopers said the driver of the truck died when he didn’t yield at the East 24th and Greer intersection in Cordele.

Crisp County Coroner J.D. Rainey Jr. said the driver was identified as Joel Lee Hodges, 28.

Rainey wasn’t sure where Hodges was from but noted he had a Macon address on his driver’s license.

Troopers said a second victim was in the truck and was taken to a hospital for serious injuries.

A third vehicle was involved in the accident.

That vehicle was in the turning lane getting ready to turn left on Greer but there were no injuries from that accident, according to GSP.

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