Fog may have been a factor when a school bus and a tractor-trailer collided on a rural Mississippi highway Friday, killing a 10-year-old girl and injuring at least 10 people, authorities said.
Mississippi Department of Public Safety spokesman Jon Kalahar said the accident happened about 7:20 a.m. He said it appears that the bus had stopped at a stop sign on Mississippi Highway 450 and was turning on to U.S. Highway 61 when it pulled in front of the truck.
Kalahar said the truck driver told investigators he saw the bus and hit the brakes, but couldn't stop in time. Kalahar said the preliminary investigation showed it was foggy at the time and that may have contributed to the crash.
Shaw School District Superintendent Cederick Ellis said Taliyah McRoy, a fifth-grade student at McEvans School, died in the accident.
Ellis said he recently talked to the girl about state tests that are coming up and they were counting down the days. He said her death was a painful blow.
"It is a very small community. A very tight community. When something happens, especially a tragedy like this. It really affects the entire community," Ellis said.
Ellis said four students were flown to hospitals and least four others were taken by ambulance. At least one remained in critical condition, Ellis said. The bus driver was treated and released.
"We know that there was a significant amount of fog in that area but we cannot comment on the possible cause of the accident. That is under investigation," Ellis said.
Kalahar said the vehicles flipped over and landed on their sides. The bus was carrying students ranging from kindergarten through high school.
It was the second fatal school bus accident involving a tractor trailer in Mississippi this year.
In February, a truck driver, a bus driver and a teacher were killed when a semi sideswiped one school bus, then collided head-on with a second one on Mississippi Highway 8. One of those buses ended up hanging partially over the edge of an interstate bridge.
At least 17 Ackerman High School students were injured in the Feb. 8 crash. They were coming home from a senior trip to the University of Mississippi at Oxford.
Killed were trucker Gary T. Bailey, 54, of Mantachie; the driver of the second bus, Steven B. Moss, 37; and Ackerman high teacher Phyllis Graham, 53, of Eupora, highway patrol troopers said.