Bus wreck still under investigation

Published 12:07 am Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Covington County School bus collided with a car on U.S. Hwy 84 near Loango Thursday. | File photo


It is unknown if any charges will be filed or if administrative action will occur following Thursday’s bus crash near Red Level that injured four students and sent an Evergreen man to a Montgomery hospital.

Superintendent Terry Holley said school officials spent the better part of Friday doing “follow ups” with students.

“Everyone was released from the hospital,” Holley said of the students, who suffered only minor injuries. “Mrs. Merritt (the bus driver) was released. She’s OK. We’re proud everyone is safe. We feel very blessed in that regard.”

An Alabama State Troopers release sent to media Thursday night stated Clifton Moore, a 33-year-old Shaw employee, was traveling west on U.S. Hwy. 84 when the school bus failed to yield the right-of-way and pulled into the path of his vehicle. Moore was taken by Life Flight to a Montgomery hospital, where as of Friday, he remained in critical condition.

Holley said troopers have not given an official accident report to the school system, and that he was unaware of the information previously released.

“I do know the troopers are still doing their investigation,” he said. “The bus is locked up in a secure area, and (on Friday, troopers) were coming to do the investigation, so I haven’t seen an official report as of yet.

“Prayers are going out for Mr. Moore and his family,” Holley said. “It’s very fortunate there were not more injured during the accident.”

There are 38 students assigned to the bus route, which at the time of the accident was at the intersection of Ealum Mill Road and Loango Road. The area is also commonly known as the old Lester’s Store.

Holley said the driver had made several stops and numbered the students on the bus in the “30s.”

He said counseling services have been made available to those students; however, school let out Friday for Thanksgiving break.

“But if (counseling) services are needed when we come back, then, absolutely, they’ll be made available,” he said.