Early Morning Bus Accident on East Chester Street
MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. – At least 20 students were involved in a bus wreck early Friday morning, according to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. It happened at the intersection of East Chester and Avalon Drive around 6:20 a.m. on Bus 176 en route to Rose Hill Middle School. Some Madison County residents say they saw the crash right after it happened. “When I pulled over it’s just like the bus was down there, I go down there and naturally started helping people up the hill,” Anthony Arnold said, Madison County resident. According to Lt. Jerry Elston, the driver of the bus is Michelle Hamilton, 46, of Jackson. School officials say Hamilton has had two accidents in the past — One in 2008, and one in 2009. “The driver [has] given a statement that she had almost passed out after taking a drink of soft drink and that’s what caused her to leave the road,” Elston said. School officials say the bus driver and three students, two from Rose Hill Middle School and one from Liberty Tech High School, were transported by ambulance with minor injuries. The bus driver and students have been treated and released. Investigators say approximately 19 other students were on the bus at the time of the accident. “Anytime an accident involves young children there is a degree of importance placed on it simply because of the children,” Elston said. Principal Ned Lewis from Rose Hill Middle School was witness to the accident and able to move students to a safe location and have them transported to school by another bus. The other 19 students who were taken to school were evaluated by EMS and released to parents. From those evaluations, two additional Rose Hill students were taken to the hospital by their parents. “Anytime any one of my kids gets on a a bus I’m always nervous but yea its kind of frightening,” Lauren Davis said, a Rose Hill Middle School parent. The crash is still under investigation. Deputies say Hamilton will not face citations or charges, she was treated and released from the hospital. The school system says there’s no word on when she’ll will return to work and is unsure if the school board will seek disciplinary action.