A Tennessee Highway Patrol report indicates a Washington County, TN school bus driver fell asleep at the wheel, resulting in a crash on Tuesday afternoon.
According to the report, 16 students were on board, but five students were taken to the hospital for injuries. In addition, the driver was taken to the hospital for injuries. That means a total of six people (driver and 5 students) were take to the hospital after the crash.
The driver, 68-year-old Lanty Ross Lindley, of Jonesborough, has been charged with failure to exercise due care.
According to the THP report, the school bus was traveling in the 400 block of Cherokee Mountain Road when the driver failed to maintain his lane of travel and leaving the roadway to the left.
The school bus struck a ditch and a tree.
THP determined there were no mechanical issues discovered on the bus, but all defects were post-crash.
The driver admitted to THP during an interview at the hospital that he was tired adn had fallen asleep.
WASHINGTON COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – A Tennessee Highway Patrol spokesman said Wednesday that a post-crash inspection was being conducted on a Washington County, TN, school bus involved in a crash Tuesday afternoon.
The crash happened on Cherokee Mountain Road around 3:40 p.m. Tuesday. Sixteen students from David Crockett High School were on that bus but there were no serious injuries reported; however, five students and the driver were taken to the hospital.
According to a THP crash report, the bus driver was in a curve in the 400 block of Cherokee Mountain Road when he “failed to maintain his lane of travel, leaving the roadway to the left.” The bus hit the ditch and then a tree before stopping.
The driver had to be rescued from the bus by Washington County EMS.
State Rep. Matthew Hill expressed prayers and support for the students involved in the crash and referenced a crash back in 2012 in Washington County on Mount Wesley Road when 39 DCHS students were injured, some seriously.
“I am sadden to hear that some of our children were hurt during an unfortunate accident today, and I offer my prayers and support to our students, their school bus driver, and all of the families involved,” Hill said in a news release Tuesday night. “Every day, we count on our school buses to get our children to school and back safely. My colleagues and I will continue to allocate resources and find additional solutions that enhance the safety and well-being of our students, as well as our bus drivers. Together, I know we can work to prevent future incidents like these from occurring.”
Hill supported a bill in 2017 that requires school districts to have a supervisor to oversee transportation of students and also requires all new bus drivers to complete a driver training program.