Waynesboro, MS School Bus And Truck Crash, Oct 1981


Waynesboro, Miss. (AP) - A truck with pine logs sticking out the back turned off a road and swung the timber into a school bus, pounding children and killing three of them, including the son of the woman driving the bus.
Two-dozen children were injured Monday afternoon and seven were in serious condition, straining the staff at the tiny Wayne County General Hospital, officials said. The truck driver was hospitalized for shock.
Killed in the disaster were:
MARK WAYNE HUTTO, 6 years old, son of Mr. and Mrs. Terry Hutto of Buckatunna.
MIRANDA KITTRELL, 7 years old, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Kittrell of State Line.
SHANNON KITTRELL, 9 years old, son of the bus driver Denise Kittrell.
The truck was carrying a load of pine logs, including a 77-foot-long pole tied with a red flag, and was turning from the extreme right lane into an industrial park just outside the Waynesboro city limits, said Wayne County Sheriff Marvin Farrior. The bus was in a second lane on the same southbound side of Highway 45.
"Three logs came through the windshield and right side of the bus," said Mississippi Highway Patrolman Gerald Ruffin. "The logs snapped off inside the bus and the bus proceeded on down the road into a ditch. It was out of control."
The logs "just mangled the kids' bodies in the front seat," Ruffin said. "One of the little girls was almost decapitated."
The bus was fully loaded with students ranging in age from 5 to 12 and had just started its run home from the Wayne Academy at Waynesboro. Farrior said he didn't know how many children were aboard.
The truck "was turning right and the bus just ran up under the logs," Ruffin said.
"It was one of the most awful things I have ever seen in my life," Farrior said.
Ruffin described the scene as
"pandemonium, what with everyone trying to find their kids."
Farrior said passersby and neighbors shuttled the children to the hospital.

Indiana Gazette Pennsylvania 1981-10-13