School bus, car collide

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 18, 2011

Troopers begin their investigation into the accident that sent three to the hospital.

A number of Red Level students were visibly shaken, and some had tear stained faces Thursday after a Chevrolet Caprice collided with their school bus.

The accident occurred at approximately 3:20 p.m. at the intersection of U.S. Hwy. 84 and Ealum Mill Road and Loango Road and left five people injured – including four students.

According to a release from the Alabama Department of Public Safety, Clifton Moore, 33, of Evergreen, was traveling west on U.S. 84 when a school bus failed to yield the right-of–way and pulled into the path of Moore’s vehicle. Moore was taken by Life-Flight to Baptist Medical Center South in Montgomery, where he was listed in critical condition. Four students on the bus were transported to Andalusia Regional Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries.

The accident scene was chaotic as parents rushed to pick up their children.

Michael John McLaughlin was riding the bus when the accident occurred.

“We were eastbound on 84, and the bus had the right-of-way when that car came right up underneath us,” McLaughlin said. “I heard a crunch and a crash, and I was airborne. It was one of the scariest things ever.”

The impact from the accident was strong enough to knock the drive shaft out from under the school bus, Superintendent Terry Holley said.

“I have to commend (emergency personnel), they got here quickly and had things under control,” he said. “In no time, every student was accounted for, and we found out that everyone on the bus was going to be OK.”

The driver of the school bus, who was not identified, appeared to have been treated for shock immediately following the accident. She had just begun making her rounds, so it is unknown how many students were on the bus at the time of the accident.

No other details about what led to the crash were readily available as the accident remains under investigation by the Alabama State Troopers.