LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT) - A multi-vehicle crash involving a Hoxie school bus, a dump truck, and several other vehicles sent 9 people to the hospital, including two drivers and 7 children.
The crashed closed Highway 63 south of Walnut Ridge for several hours on Tuesday.
Arkansas State Police said in a news release that a southbound dump truck driven by 31-year-old Houston Franks hit the rear end of the bus as it began to turn off the highway onto Lawrence County Road 703.
The crash caused the bus, driven by 43-year-old Jeremy Parmer, to veer off the road and overturn in a man’s yard.
Initially, one child was airlifted to Le Bonheur Children’s Hosptial in Memphis. Superintendent Kelly Gillham said a second child was later transported to Le Bonheur. Both children suffered serious injuries, but Gillham said the injuries were not considered life-threatening.
Five other children on the bus, as well as Parmer and Franks, were taken to a Jonesboro hospital with unspecified injuries. Two of the children had to be extricated from the bus.
The children ranged in age from third-graders to tenth-graders.
Attorney Rebecca Worsham with the Mixon & Worsham PLC, which represents the school district, told Region 8 News that all individuals were awake and alert when they were transported from the accident scene.
Gillham said counseling will be available to all students at the Hoxie schools on Wednesday.
There are also plans to collect money for the families of those hurt in the crash.
The bus was flipped into a nearby ditch, and the video shows heavy damage to the back of the bus.
A Hoxie school official tells Region 8 News the bus involved in the crash would be known as bus 5, which makes stops in southeast Hoxie and Highway 63.
The crash was located about 1.6 miles south of the Highway 91 intersection.
Arkansas State Police troopers assigned to the Highway Patrol Division, Troop B, and a reconstruction team from the HPD will lead the investigation into the crash.
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