School bus driver dead, multiple children injured in Benton County crash

Updated - The driver of a school bus is dead and at least seven children were injured in a crash in Benton County.

Posted: Sep 10, 2019 7:46 AM
Updated: Sep 10, 2019 4:34 PM

BENTON COUNTY, Miss. (WTVA) - A school bus driver is dead and at least seven children were injured in a school bus crash in Benton County. 

The Mississippi Highway Patrol confirmed the school bus rolled over Tuesday morning on Highway 72 and Whippoorwill Road.

William "Chester" Cole | Source: WMC-TV

Children were on the Ashland school bus at the time of the crash.

At the time, troopers could not confirm if the wreck killed the school bus driver or if the death was the result of a possible medical issue.

The superintendent of the Benton County School District, Steve Bostick, said the driver, Chester Cole, may have had a heart attack.

Benton County Coroner Larry Hobson said there will not be an autopsy. He also said Cole reportedly clutched his chest and slumped over in the seat prior to the crash, reports WMC-TV in Memphis, Tennessee.

At the scene, troopers reported seven injured children - two went to the hospital in Olive Branch and five went to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis.

Dr. Regan Williams of Le Bonheur later confirmed eight children went to the Memphis hospital.

WATCH - Open this link to watch the press conference.

Of the eight children, she said four were seriously injured and the remaining four sustained minor or no injuries.

Troopers confirmed no other vehicles were involved in the wreck.

Bostick said Cole had been with the school district for five years and described him as trustworthy and dependable.

The scene is located approximately 3 miles south of the Tennessee state line. 

WTVA reporter Keara Chaney spoke with the school superintendent at the scene. You can watch the interview above.

This article was modified at 2:50 p.m. to include information from Dr. Regan Williams of Le Bonheur Children's Hospital.

This article was modified at 3:36 p.m. to include the coroner's information. 


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