A school bus and passenger truck collided shortly after 7:30 a.m. Thursday at the intersection of Jackson Road and Highway 495. Twenty-four people were on the bus at the time.
At least eight people, including the two drivers, were transported to local hospitals by ambulance for treatment. Several parents took other students to the hospital in their own vehicles. Officials said none of the injuries appeared to be life threatening.
"You have a county road intersecting with a state highway," said Sgt. Ronnie Carter of the Mississippi Highway Patrol. "And what we understand is that the school bus was on the county road entering the intersection from the county road. The pick-up truck was traveling northbound on 495. We're going to reconstruct the crash. At this point right now there are not any charges, but we're going to consider the investigation. Look at all the information and we'll decide that later on."
Meanwhile, as the school district conducts its own investigation into the accident, officials tell us that the bus driver, who is in his 50s and has been driving for about six years, will likely return to the job as soon as possible.
"There's nothing in the wreck to determine that he don't need to drive a bus as far as that's concerned. He's still a good driver. It's just that things happen," said Jerome Jackson, Kemper County Schools' safety director.
The Highway Patrol is expected to wrap up its initial investigation by Friday.
In February, almost 30 people received minor injuries in another school bus mishap in Kemper County.
Given the severity of both crashes and that no one was seriously injured, school officials say this proves that school buses are still one of the safest modes of transportation.