WJTV News Channel 12 - One Person Killed in Rankin County School Bus Crash

Passenger is in Critical Condition, Bus Driver has less serious injuries

One Person Killed in Rankin County School Bus Crash

Posted: Updated:
Brandon, MS -

One person is dead and another is in critical condition at University Medical center after a head-on collision with  a Rankin County School District bus, Brandon police said.

There were no children on-board during the crash, Police Chief William Thompson said.

It happened just before 5:00 p.m. on Highway 471. The bus flipped into a yard near the Warner Drive intersection.

Responders found a small white car straddling the center line when they arrived on scene. A couple in their mid-sixties was in that vehicle.

"The first thing I saw the school bus was turning 'round and 'round, falling and turning over," Billy Jones, who was driving behind the bus during the crash, said.

"And the car was across just demolished," Flora Jones, also in the car, said.

"Demolished," Billy repeated.

"I could turn in here, see," Billy said, talking about the driveway he pulled into. "I just wanted to help the guy."

"I went and I got the guy out of the school bus," Billy said.

He said he entered through the rear of the bus. Authorities say the Rankin County vehicle had already completed its route.

"En route we did verify that there was no children on the bus. And I will say that again, that there is absolutely no children on this bus," Chief Thompson said.

Chief Thompson says the driver of the white vehicle died in the crash.

"The passenger, his wife, she is en route to UMC believed at this time to be in critical condition," Thompson said.

Billy says, about the bus driver, the injuries were less severe.

"He thought he had a broken hand. And his body was... I'm sure his body was hurt too," Billy said.

But he also says he was just happy he was there.

"When I see somebody hurt I try to help 'em. And I knew he was hurt and I tried to help him," Billy said.

The bus driver is listed in fair condition at UMC, authorities said.

Chief Thompson says the couple in the white car is in their mid-sixties.

The accident shut down the highway for more than two hours while investigators worked and cleaned up the crash. The cause is still under investigation.

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