• FOX13 investigates more than 110 buses crashed in Mississippi last school year

    By: Kirstin Garriss

    Updated:

    MISSISSIPPI - There were more than 110 buses crashes in Mississippi last school year.

    FOX13 is taking a hard look at these numbers after a deadly bus crash in Benton county last month.

    We found out most of these accidents happened outside of the Mid-South.

    That’s right – there were almost 40 school bus crashes in the Jackson Public School District vs only one in DeSoto County. 

    Information revealed most of the accidents involved drivers with the most experience.

    It’s hard to forget what happened September 10. Investigators said Chester Cole died after he crashed a school bus into a ditch in Benton County.

    Cole’s brother told FOX13, “Oh man he loved doing a lot of things. That was one of his passions was driving a bus for the kids. He didn’t have to do it but that is.”


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    According the Mississippi Department of Education, there were 112 school bus accidents during the 2018-2019 school year.

    The bus crash accident report shows a majority of accidents involved a collision between cars.

    Taking a closer at this report, we discovered most of the accidents involved drivers with the most experience. 

    The data shows 30 drivers who had less than two years of experience were involved in accidents. 26 drivers who had between six and ten years of driving experience.

    40 drivers who had more than ten years of experience were involved in school bus accidents. 

    Cole was 63 years old, and we don’t know how long he’d been driving for the Benton county school district. 

    We requested a copy of his driving record but the dept of education denied my request.  A spokesperson said personnel records like a driving record are confidential and exempt from release. 

    The department said before they can apply, bus drivers must have an acceptable driving record without convictions.

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