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franklin county times

Crash victims treated, released

HODGES – As of Friday morning, as many as 20 Vina School students had been treated and released from various regional hospitals following a Thursday afternoon bus crash.

Multiple people were injured when a Franklin County School bus overturned after colliding with a pick-up truck Thursday afternoon.

Officials at the scene said the bus, driven by Rebecca Gober, 58, of Vina, overturned near Alabama 172 and Overton Farm Road in Hodges about 3:20 p.m.

Authorities confirmed there were 29 students, all from Vina School, ranging in age from kindergarten to high school students, on the bus at the time of the wreck.

Of those, officials at the scene said there were a total of 14 children who were transported to hospitals in Hamilton, Red Bay and Russellville.

Franklin County Schools Superintendent Gary Williams, however, confirmed Friday morning that 20 students were taken to different hospitals and all were treated and released.

He said the injuries ranged from bumps and bruises to a small concussion, but none of the students received broken bones or any other serious injuries.

Trooper Curtis Summerville, public information officer for the Alabama State Troopers, said Channing Haithcock, 20, of Vina, who was the driver of the 2004 Chevrolet Silverado pick-up, was airlifted to Tupelo Regional Medical Center in Mississippi with non-life threatening injuries.

Officials said at the time the wreck occurred, the bus was on its regular route heading west on Alabama 172 and was turning off the highway onto Overton Farm Road when Haithcock, who was also heading west, ran off the highway and struck the bus from behind, flipping it over.

The truck struck the bus in the area of the back right tire.

Authorities said multiple emergency vehicles responded to the scene as well as several concerned community residents.

“All of the emergency personnel at the scene from all the county agencies did a great job,” Williams said.

“Mr. James Pharr, the principal at Vina, was there on the scene and from all accounts, he did a great job also. We were hearing all kinds of rumors and terrible things, but thankfully, those turned out not to be the case. We are extremely blessed and thankful that no one was hurt any worse than they were.”

Summerville said Alabama State Troopers continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the crash and a cause for the crash has not been released at this time.

“It’s your worst nightmare to receive a call like this,” Williams said.