Hawkins County school bus driver cited in crash; four children treated for injuries and released

Rain Smith • Mar 11, 2009 at 12:00 AM

ROGERSVILLE — Four Hawkins County students were treated and released following a Wednesday morning wreck, while their school bus driver was cited for failure to yield.

According to Tennessee Highway Patrolman Billy Collier, the wreck occurred about 6:45 a.m. at the intersection of Old Highway 133 and State Route 66. Collier said six children were on the bus at the time.

The bus, driven by Jason Charles Coffey, 30, of Rogersville, was eastbound on Old Highway 113. Collier said as Coffey attempted to cross State Route 66 he pulled into the path of a northbound pickup, resulting in the school bus being hit from behind.

Of the six students on the bus, Collier said four were transported to the Hawkins County Memorial Hospital emergency room. They were treated for minor injuries and released by midmorning.

Charlotte Britton, director of Hawkins County Schools, said the students were enrolled at Hawkins Elementary and Rogersville Middle schools.

“Our concern every day is for the safety of our students,” said Britton. “I and Hawkins County Schools are relieved we did not have any serious injuries.”

The driver of the pickup truck was Travis Payne, 34, of Mosheim. Collier said he complained of injuries but refused treatment.

As to what disciplinary actions may be taken against the bus driver, school officials directed questions to Tennessee Risk Management Trust, which provides insurance coverage for Hawkins County Schools.

Claims specialist George Hunter declined to comment, as TRMT is in the process of investigating the incident.

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