Officials give update on Coffee Co. school bus crash - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Officials give update on Coffee Co. school bus crash

Sheriff officials were called to investigate a wreck involving a bus (Source: R. Merritt) Sheriff officials were called to investigate a wreck involving a bus (Source: R. Merritt)
The school bus wreck included injuries (Source: R. Merritt) The school bus wreck included injuries (Source: R. Merritt)
The students were taken to Coffee Regional Medical Center (Source: WALB) The students were taken to Coffee Regional Medical Center (Source: WALB)
GSP took over investigating the wreck (Source: WALB) GSP took over investigating the wreck (Source: WALB)
COFFEE CO., GA (WALB) -

Coffee County Sheriff officials responded to a wreck involving a pickup truck and a school bus on the intersection of Herbert Baton Road and Van Davis Road. Police received the call at about 3:30 p.m.

According to officials, a Coffee Co. school bus was loaded with about a dozen middle school students and on its way to pick up more students from the high school.

As it was crossing intersection of Herbert Baton Road and Van Davis Road, a pickup truck packed with high school students failed to yield and t-boned the bus, knocking it off the road into the grass.

School resource officers called to request assistance from the Sheriff's Office after the accident. 

About five students in the bus were sent to the emergency room.

Another school bus was sent to the scene to send students with minor injuries to the hospital.

11 people suffered injuries, including the driver of the pickup. They were all rushed to Coffee Regional Medical Center for treatment.

The Coffee county school superintendent commended the hospital for handling all the injured quickly. 

"They had their team and all their people who were on staff at the time treated our students. The local EMTs did a fantastic job," said Superintendent Morris Leis.

There was a lot of concern throughout the community as word of the crash spread.  Superintendent Leis says the girl driving the truck was the most seriously injured.  All the students on the bus were released from the hospital.

"It was a great job by all involved of taking care of our children, and it looks like they're going to be okay," said Leis.

The superintendent is still unsettled with the large number of school bus crashes. He says the school district will do what it can to ensure the childrens' safety.

"We'll be meeting with all of our bus drivers Monday morning and reviewing the policies and procedures, and discussing safety and planning for the future moving forward," said Leis.

Hospital officials want to reassure everyone that they are adequately staffed to efficiently manage existing patients and arriving victims of the wreck.

Anyone with minor injuries or Flu-like symptoms is asked to report to their nearest clinic or medical center.

Over previous year's, Coffee Regional Medical Center has held Disaster Drills to prepare the staff for tragedies such as the wreck. Because of this training, officials say the staff is in a constant state of readiness and are prepared to care for our existing patients, without any disruption of care, while providing life-saving measures to trauma victims.

The investigation has now been passed on to the Georgia State Patrol.

All students involved in the accident are reported to be fine. This made the fourth school bus crash within the past two weeks in Coffee Co.

Georgia State Patrol is still investigating the accident in order to determine if it was the school bus or pickup truck that was in the wrong.

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