Bus accident reported on first day of school

VALDOSTA — The kids are back at school, and school officials are asking drivers to be more cautious during their morning and afternoon commutes.

A bus accident was reported at approximately 8 a.m. Thursday on its way to pick up Valdosta Middle School students. A pick-up truck struck the bus as it was traveling south on Bemiss Road, according to a Valdosta Police Department report.

The accident happened as the city school bus was turning off of Bemiss Road onto University Drive. 

There were seven children present on the bus when the truck hit the passenger side's rear wheel area. Three passengers, including a 2-year-old not in a child safety seat, were riding in the truck during the accident, according to the police report. 

The occupants of the truck were transported to South Georgia Medical Center for injuries, though none of the reported injuries were life-threatening. No injuries were reported from any of the students riding the bus, and city school officials said students were safely transported to VMS. 

Lowndes County Schools returned to school Wednesday and city schools went back Thursday. As a reminder, city school officials urge people to drive safely now that buses and students are back on the roads.

“Now that school is back in session for most of our community, please be mindful that students will be walking to schools and school buses will be making frequent stops,” school officials said in a statement. “We ask that everyone pay attention to their surroundings and remember to watch for pedestrians during the morning rush hour and after school. Our students’ well-being is always a top priority, and we want everyone to arrive to school and home safely.”

According to the police report, the bus driver received a citation for failure to yield. The pickup truck driver received a citation for no child safety seat. 

Katelyn Umholtz is a reporter with the Valdosta Daily Times. She can be contacted at (229)244-3400 ext. 1256.

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