By The Associated Press
WINONA — Twenty Montgomery County students were injured Friday — two critically — when their school bus collided with an empty log truck in the north Mississippi town of Winona.
A total of seven students were transported to University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. As of 5 p.m. Friday, two students were in critical condition, three were in stable condition, and two had been released, hospital spokesman Matthew Westerfield said.
A parent interviewed by WAPT-TV said that his 17-year-old son was paralyzed at least temporarily from the waist down. The parent said the boy’s 12-year-old sister suffered a skull fracture and bleeding on the brain and that both were on breathing machines.
Other students were treated at Tyler Holmes Memorial Hospital in Winona.
Montgomery County schools superintendent Sammie McCaskill said he was notified of the accident shortly after 7 a.m.
“I put on some clothes and headed to the scene. We are thankful that we avoided a real tragedy and that no one was killed,” he said.
He said neither the bus driver nor the log truck driver was hurt.
Winona police said the accident occurred shortly after 7 a.m. at the intersection of U.S. Highway 82 and Lodi Road, at the Winona city limits.
McCaskill said the students on the bus ranged from elementary through high school and were being driven to school in Kilmichael. He said the bus had only picked up half its usual number of students.
“It appeared the bus was entering the highway and something happened,” McCaskill said.
Police said the school bus was knocked on its side. The truck was not carrying logs at the time of the accident. They said the accident was being investigated.