Child killed in school bus wreck
April 1st, 2011
12:28 PM ET

Child killed in school bus wreck

One child died and several were injured Friday in Bolivar County, Mississippi, when a school bus collided with a tractor-trailer on a foggy stretch of road, officials said.

The bus was carrying elementary-school and high-school students when the accident happened around 7 a.m. Friday, said Cedrick Ellis, superintendent of the Shaw School District, in Shaw, Mississippi.

A "younger child" was killed in the accident, said Dr. J.O. Trice, a deputy county coroner.

Ellis said the bus and a tractor-trailer loaded with gravel collided, causing both vehicles to overturn.

The Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol is investigating, Ellis said. It was not clear if the fog contributed to the crash.

Filed under: Mississippi
soundoff (115 Responses)
  1. Ken

    So tragic. I wish all school buses were installed with seat belts and laws were in place to enforce their use.

    April 1, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Not All Docs Play Golf

      That would be ideal, but try fitting that into the Republicans slash-and-burn budget cuts. You'd be competing against the tax brakes for the wealthy. It's a shame, I agree.

      April 1, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • spenceteeth

      Seatbelts wouldnt have stopped fate. No amount of secuirty or safety can assure us life. It was fate that caused the semi to hit where it it and it was fate that took the child nothing more.

      April 1, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • KT

      I drove a school bus for 14 years. I had 91 5 year olds on my bus. If that bus were to catch fire, would you want me to undo your child's seatbelt first, or someone's child? Whose child should I let burn to death in a school bus because it has seatbelts?? From someone who thought long and hard about seatbelts on a school bus and FOUGHT AGAINST them.

      April 1, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • vtguy

      I agree we should have seat belts and would gladly donate, but there are docs in this world that think we should tax and spend based on their personal ideas. Liberals should learn to live within their budgets doc, and charity begins at home.

      April 1, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stacy

      I could not agree with you more and this is the issue I wrestle with daily. My soon to be 6YO will be starting 1st grade in September and riding the SB for the first time (we had him in private school for Kindergarten). Apparently the buses in our town DO have seat-belts and the kids are required to wear them however the issues is more than that. The bus driver can't see if every kid keeps them on, the ones that do listen to their parents and wear then get picked on AND students have used them as weapons such as hitting with the buckle end and choking. Plus parents whose children don't wear them argue that if the bus was in an accident some of the younger children are unable to unlatch themselves therefore entrapping them on the bus. I don't know myself what I am going to do, I have 2 other younger children and if I do drive him to school everyday you are not permitted to drop off in the bus zone. I would have to park, go into the school with all 3 kids (one of which will be a 4 month old) and sign my elder son into school each day. My husband is afraid this might lead to teasing as well? I am just not sure what to do.

      April 1, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      KT, kindly explain to us all how a school bus could catch fire. The seat cushions are supposed to be flame retardant. The steel and aluminum isn't going to burn. That leaves the fuel, which is in a fuel tank and is difficult to ignite anyway, as most school buses are diesel.
      In Pennsylvania, the special education students get seat belts. But the normal students don't deserve protection from bouncing around the cabin of the bus?!
      The bus rolled over after impact, as did the truck. That means that the children were tumbling all around inside that bus like dice in a cup.

      April 1, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      Ken you are an idiot. How many children have died in, oh, the past 30 years on school buses? Let's go back 40 years. How many have died? Okay, like, um, 20? And one accident where the bus ran off a overpass killed 10 of those kids. And how many kids rode buses last year? How many? Millions? For how many miles? In that 40 years, how many kids have ridden buses and for how many millions of miles? And we're looking at 20 deaths? it's such an insignificant number that it is statisitically uncountable. Buses are safe, not because of seat belts, but because of their size. Seat belts wouldn't have saved any of the 20 that did die. All you're going to give children is a good way to strangle themselves on the way to school. So, shut up and mind your own business.

      April 1, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Susan

      Where are you from? What do you mean the bus can't catch on fire? What's wrong with you? I hope you don't have kids.

      April 1, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • James S

      You people are crazy. I guess seatbelts would have helped that tour bus in New York also... Really people find something better to do with your day and think of the poor child that is no longer with us. Real easy to sit at your home or place of work and say what could or should be done. Let the child rest and send prayers to the family.

      April 1, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      Totally agree.
      Seat obvious in cars, why not in school buses?

      April 1, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • RgTex


      I guess in that case, we need to remove all rules & regulations, and save on the expenses that go along with enforcing and following them. Then it will all be Kay Sara, Kay Sara....

      April 1, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      The case for mandatory seat belts in school buses was made because diesel school buses are not fire hazzards like gasoline powered vehicles. Wonder what percentage of school buses are still running on gasoline?

      April 1, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      Yea Doc – we repubs are out to kill all small children...and get their little dogs sincere sympathy and prayers go out to the family of the child.

      April 1, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carol

      I agree with you. The question is WHY hasn't this been done? Perhaps money? I'm sure congress will vote themselves a pay increase before they mandate seat belts on school buses.

      April 1, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      @KT I'm with you man. People don't understand logistics. Thats a big part of whats going on in this country. Everyone thinks things just work. Even something simple as the engine catching fire could turn into a big thing with seat-belts. Im glad someone is giving another point of view.

      April 1, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • BluegrassHoney

      Hey Wizard, why don't you go to Google and type in "Carroll County KY bus crash". Then you'll find out just how a bus can catch fire and kill. This accident happened about 20ish years ago, and killed many, many people. It is a prime example of why we should not put seat belts on buses. People need to be able to move quickly in order to evacuate, and how quickly can a bus driver/monitor get all those children unbuckled? The answer is that they can't.

      April 1, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • jersey

      right .. you would think they would

      April 1, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chumlee

      Seatbelts on a school bus? So who would ensure that each child puts his/her seatbelt on and KEEPS it on? The driver? Another "observer" onboard? Do you realize how much extra time it would take to do all that? How long do you want it to take to get these kids to school?

      There are other safety measures employeed on school buses. High back seats for instance.

      The facts are that fatalities on school buses are very, very rare. The last ones prior to this that I remember was a bus being hit at a railroad crossing in Crystal Lake Illinois. Several children died. Seatbelts wouldn' thave helped in that situtation and I doubt that it would have helped here either.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • JC-VA

      I ate whenever someone has to put politics into something.... I have a suggestion, if you are affraid for your kid ridding the school bus, i have news that can safe your kid, Go ahead and take it yourself. That simple.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • busman

      Seat belts do not belong on a bus due to seat design. You cannot assure that the seat belt correctly lines up to the correct portion of the students body in as it is designed to do in a car. It is proven that seat belts in a bus accent will do more harm top the student wearing the seatbelt due to this misalignment and a seat is fire prrof and that does not mean it will not burn. IT just means you have a harder time lighting it up to cause a fire.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joker

      This is sad...very sad. Where was God?

      April 1, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • conradshull

      Did you ever ride the bus as a kid?

      April 1, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • conradshull

      Wondering if the seat-belt on school bus folks ever rode th bus much as kids? I guess it's POSSIBLE to keep kids bucked during the ride, but...not the way I remember it (12 yrs riding bus to and from school)

      April 1, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Response to John

      John wrote:
      "Ken you are an idiot." "So, shut up and mind your own business."

      Is it possible for you to have a discussion without being such a jerk? Doubtful..

      April 1, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • JC-VA

      I hate whenever someone has to put politics into something or everything, let's blame the republicans or Obama.... how stupid is that...? As far as I can remember school busses have always been without seat belts.... I have a suggestion, if you are affraid for your kid ridding the school bus, i have news that can safe your kid, Go ahead and take it yourself. That simple.

      April 1, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • JC-VA

      I hate whenever someone has to put politics into something or everything, let's blame the republicans or Obama.... how stupid is that...? As far as I can remember school busses have always been without seat belts.... I have a suggestion, if you are afraid for your kid ridding the school bus, i have news that can safe your kid, Go ahead and take it to school yourself.

      April 1, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      As a former Head Start bus driver, there are bus aides that are staffed on the bus that are equipped with seat belts, and we had monthly bus evacuation drills, railroad crossing silence rules, general road safety and bus unloading rules among the many requirements that are followed. Hitting a Semi might not have saved all of the passengers, but would minimize the amount of injuries.

      April 1, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      Ken, ALL pre-school Head Start buses are equipped with mandatory seat-belts with bus-aides that install-train each child on the proper use of seat belts along with emergency evacuations, rail-road crossings, etc; Once they leave Head Start and go to public schools, the children at least know how to use seat-belts in the family vehicle. As a former bus driver for H Start, parents would come to me and thank the bus staff for instilling seat-belt rules that their kids would tell their parents/sibling to follow.

      April 1, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • ktee

      And what happens when a bus crashes, and a seat belt fails? Is that the bus companies fault too?

      April 1, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tracey W.

      Ken, most deaths centered around school buses happen outside the bus in which seat belts are ineffective but in those other cases you are absolutely right. As for JOHN You are the idiot. There have been 7 children to die at the hands of a negligent school bus driver since this January. Average 30 a year. GGet your facts right! My 8 year old daughter was killed by a negligent bus driver on April 8 2010 by a bus driver whom had drug a child down the road by the back pack, broken a little girls arm while driving to fast in a construction zone, dropped a 6 year old off 5 miles from his home, i could go on and on. By the way this is very common amongst horror stories about school bus drivers.

      April 25, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Seatbelts

    Seatbelts? Can we please put them in school buses!!

    April 1, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      A study that was conducted found that installing seatbelts on school buses would save approximately 1 life per year, but cost over 40 million dollars per year. If a road improvement would save approximately one life, it would have to cost less than 5 million dollars for the government to deem it cost-effective.

      April 1, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      one life per year? who makes up your facts? we haven't had one life loss per year in 30 years. School buses are safe because of their size. You want to nanny society to death. Stay out of my life you liberal idiots.

      April 1, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Response to John

      John wrote: "Stay out of my life you liberal idiots." Ahh, now I see. Please, go away and listen to Rush. I'm sure he will tell you exactly what you want to hear.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • JC-VA

      Kids...? Can you drive your kid to school.

      April 1, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. twiddly

    This is nuts.
    We have laws requiring people to use seatbelts in all cars, but schoolchildren don't need to use them on schoolbuses?

    I spent years driving my daughter to/from school precisely because they don't use seatbelts. Cost me a ton of time and money but I live in CO foothills and those roads are _dangerous_.

    April 1, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris what did America do before seatbelts? What have we been doing the last X amount of years? Sorry, but a few lives being taken is just something you have to live with. THis is life and you know what they say theres only two sure things in life.......

      April 1, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • conradshull

      Yet, though I don't doubt you are a safe driver, she would have been safer riding the bus.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • JC-VA

      That’s exactly what someone could do if they think the SBs are not safe. DRIVE your FREAKING KID TO SCHOOL yourself.

      April 1, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • ktee

      Seatbelts can also be dangerous... I had a friend who got in a car crash. If she had been wearing her seat belt, she would be dead.

      April 1, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JayT

    How many children have to die before parents DEMAND that these FOR-PROFIT bus companies be held to the same safety standards as are parents and everyone else when transporting children? Parents can not decide to travel with their child/ren unrestrained in their own vehicle, yet, once again, for-profit companies have been protected from having to bear the cost of doing the same. Sure, bus seats may be padded, but buses are also essentially tin cans that damage easily. They're also top heavy and extremely prone to easily rolling-over. No amount of seat cushioning is going to protect a child from that. But a seatbelt sure as heck would. How many kids have to die before our government finally stands up to these profit mongers and insists they provide this very basic safety device?

    April 1, 2011 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Ray

      VERY well put. I'm willing to bet that the manufacturer analyzed their potential lawsut exposure versus the cost of the safety of our children.

      April 1, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sandy

    Why dont they have seat belts in school buses? it's so sad ....

    April 1, 2011 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      Sandy, In the government sponsored pre-school program Head Start, all buses have MANDATORY required seat belts installed on ALL buses with bus aides that controll the bus environment and teach the children various safety rules both on and off the bus including seat belt use, bus evacuations, rail-road crossing silence, and many other safety instructions thus leaving the driver to concentrate on the road. A very solid training that Head Start instills on their students.

      April 1, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Deb

    How sad, but if you distract bus drivers trying to make kids keep them on, there may be more wrecks.

    April 1, 2011 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • dan

      Deb I agree.. and we can hire someone to make sure they have them on. Then when a parent does not feel like their child needs to wear a seat beat they can fill out an exclucsion form. Plus the parent can accuse the driver of being racist when the driver makes the child wear the belt.. and on and on we go....

      April 1, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • stormsun

      One of the many arguments used to prevent children from being protected by safety belts. It is long past time for school buses to be required to have seat belts. We consider any parent negligent if they DON'T ensure their children are properly seat-belted...the schools, the administrators, and the various state legislatures that exempt school buses are every bit as negligent as anyone cited for failing to provide this basic protection. Wake up, Government! Read your own signs on the highways: seatbelts save lives.

      April 1, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • AdamM

      Stormstrum, I agree

      April 1, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. rodney

    all school buses should have seat belts! it is literally a law we can live with

    April 1, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  8. Malakas

    We need SEATBELTS and AIRBAGS in school buses! Whatever the cost!

    April 1, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • dan

      What if the cost is a child being killed or paralyzed by the deployment of the air bag?

      April 1, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • AdamM

      Not sure about airbags, but seat belts cost very little and drastically decrease the probability of injury. There has been a disinformation campaign from bus owners about the dangers and costs associated with seat belts. Please go to the NTSB website or waltham3seatbelts and find the truth. They support seat belts on school buses.

      April 1, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. mike

    they need to look into the health of the truck drivers..a large % have heart disease...he or she may have had a hrt just saying....

    April 1, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Myself

      As a person who qualifies truck drivers I will address your concern. ANYBODY can have a heart attack. Drivers MUST complete physicals on a regular basis. Driver's physical fitness is a major issue. Federal DOT laws have different requirements for different health issues. Such as if a driver had diabetes, they can NOT be on insuline. If a driver is on blood pressure meds they must go for a physical on a yearly basis (as opposed to every 2yrs). So the chances of a truck driver having a heart attack is probably smaller than a normal person driving a regular vehicle....

      April 1, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. AdamM

    There's been a big push for seat belts on School buses in Waltham, MA. My oldest is starting Kindergarten next year and I would like to see her belted in. Having seat belts doesn't distract bus drives, it's the kids running around that distracts. Anyway, we could put seat belts on buses and not make it mandatory to wear them. I'm sure most children, given the option, would belt up without hesitation. All children grow up with that mentality now. Adults my generation don't have that concept.

    April 1, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. eeee

    Its easier to educate them when theyre young than to re-educate them when theyre older

    April 1, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Gert

    I understand why parents and folks would want seat belts on buses, but coming from a pupil transportation background and looking at the studies on school bus safety, seat belts do not necessarily improve safety on the bus. Bus seats are designed with safety in mind and protect kids in accidents. School buses are one of the safest modes of transportation in this county. Tragic accidents do happen, but seat belts may not deter them from happening. Plus, think about trying to get 50+ kids to buckle up and stay buckled throughout the ride. Please research bus safety and you will see the facts about how safe our school buses are.

    April 1, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • AdamM

      Gert, I appreciate your concern about trying to get 50+ kids buckled up. We could make wearing seat belts optional, but we should provide them. And your other suggestion that buses are one of the safest modes of transportation is correct, but why not make it safer? A seat belt drastically decreases your risk of injury.

      April 1, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • donny77


      Is it safer? If you have 50+ students seat belted in, and the bus goes off the road into a lake, how quick can 50 kids get unbuckled? There is only one adult to help all 50 kids out of the bus.

      April 1, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Julie Labrouste, Tacoma WA

    So do school buses still have no safety belts in them? O.o If so, are children still, "our most precious 'resource'", or, at least, according to the politicians that are trying to get elected at any given moment? It's difficult to tell how much "our" government truly does consider children to be, "our most precious 'resource'", with all of these attacks on teacher wages, and teacher unions, and, unless there's been some big nationwide change, no safety belts on buses, aside from garbage in vending machines in the schools so that big business is all happy, etc.

    April 1, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. MAry

    Hey guys, will you visit HelpFaye.ORG a friend of mine is fighting for her life

    April 1, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Not All Docs Play Golf

    Let's see a show of many people on here advocation for seatbelts on busues would be willing to have their taxes go up a bit to pay for it. I know I would (my hand gors up). But the reality is that some of the very people advocating for this are the same ones supporting Tea Party Republican severe budget cuts. You can't have services and cuts. Take your pick.

    April 1, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
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