DEARING, Ga. --- A van struck a McDuffie County school bus Aug. 31, causing about a 45-minute delay in some pupils getting home. Only one minor injury was reported in the collision.
Georgia State Patrol Trooper First Class Jason Cunningham said bus No. 7 was traveling south on Boyd Bradshaw Road when it was struck by a Chevy Astro van. Trooper Cunningham said the driver of the van, Joe Clowers, 76, of Dearing, failed to yield the right of way while pulling out of a private drive. Boyd Bradshaw is a dirt road that runs off of Fort Creek Road in the Happy Valley area of south McDuffie County.
McDuffie County Schools Transportation Director Butch Blount said the van struck the bus on the rear tire and caused no major damaged. He said the tire had a "cut" on it, and would be replaced immediately.
The bus was driven by James Key, 71, of Dearing, who has been a driver in McDuffie County for 18 years. This was the first accident Mr. Key has been involved in.
About 10 students were on the bus at the time of the collision. They were transferred to bus No. 15 just before 5 p.m.
Mr. Blount called every parent to let them know of the incident and that their child was being taken home by another bus.
"That's why we have rosters on every bus," he explained.
A 17-year-old girl complained of back pain, and 14 first responders with McDuffie County Fire/Rescue Services responded.
The driver of the van was charged with failure to yield while entering the road, Trooper Cunningham said.