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Story Archives: Bus driver injured in wreck; 45 students treated at hospitals
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|Bus driver injured in wreck; 45 students treated at hospitals|
A bus driver was seriously injured and 45 public school students were taken to hospitals this morning following a two-vehicle crash in Vidalia.
All but one of the students were treated and released by noon today, according to Supt. Loretta Blankenstein. One child suffered a hip injury.
James Cockerham, the driver of the Durham School Services bus, was seriously injured in the wreck and air-lifted to a Jackson, Miss., hospital. A parish bus driver for a number of years, Cockerham was transporting students to Vidalia schools.
Police had to extricate Cockerham from the bus.
The crash involved the bus and a Vidalia city garbage truck early this morning on U.S. Highway 84 (Carter Street) at a traffic signal in front of the local Wal-Mart store.
Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland said the garbage truck driver, James Warner, suffered a broken rib in the accident.
Another employee, Lee Collins, suffered "a knot on his head," said Copeland.
All 45 students were taken to area hospitals to be checked for possible injuries, according to Vidalia Police Chief Ronnie "Tapper" Hendricks and Blankenstein. Hendricks said he believed that there were no life-threatening injuries among the students.
Both Hendricks and Blankenstein were checking on the students at Riverland Medical Center in Ferriday at mid-morning. Some students were transported to hospitals in Natchez but the majority were taken to Riverland, according to reports.
The police chief and superintendent personally checked on students taken to all Miss-Lou hospitals.
A Louisiana State Police reconstruction team was called to the scene to assist in the crash investigation, Hendricks stated.
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