Police responded to a collision involving a school bus and a van on Caldwell Road in Hawkins County Monday. Jeff Bobo photo.
SURGOINSVILLE — The driver of a van that collided head on with a Hawkins County school bus Monday afternoon suffered minor injuries, but the bus driver and two students on board were not hurt.
The accident was reported to Hawkins County Central Dispatch at 3:53 p.m. after a Chrysler Town and Country van reportedly struck an oncoming school bus head-on on a very narrow, winding section of Caldwell Road south of Surgoinsville.
Although it was initially dispatched out to emergency responders with multiple injuries, Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Josh Mabe said he was glad to find upon his arrival that the wreck was “fairly minor.”
“It’s a narrow place in the roadway,” Mabe said. “The driver of the van just came around the curve on wet roadway. She applied her brakes, and skidded, and struck the front of the (bus).”
No names were released, and Mabe said from the scene that he would speak to the driver of the van before determining if any citations will be issued.
Hawkins County Emergency Management Agency director Gary Murrell said this is the second time this year Hawkins County Schools has “dodged a bullet” with a school bus accident.
Shortly after the beginning of this school year there was a minor school bus accident on Byrd Creek Road in the Clinch community.
“Very minor injuries in the van,” Murrell said. “The two students on the bus were fine. We avoided a disaster again.”
Murrell added, “That’s two we’ve had on narrow roads like this (in this school year). There was only two (students) on this one, and we had 28 on the last one. (Monday’s two) were high school students. They were fine. There parents were here and signed (treatment) refusals. EMS checked them and let them go home.”
Director of Schools Charlotte Britton said bus safety is being strongly emphasized.
“Our school system is fortunate in not having any reported student injuries in today’s bus accident,” Britton said. “With the unfortunate bus accident in Washington County, our school system has increased the importance of bus safety with all of our bus drivers. All safety procedures have been reviewed and ongoing safety training, as in the past, will always be a part of our system.”