PARIS TN: Students report minor injuries after bus accident

A tow truck crew prepares to pull a Henry County School System bus onto its wheels Monday morning on Jones Bend Road west of Paris.

Five students were taken to Henry County Medical Center with apparently minor injuries after a Henry County school bus carrying 13 students rolled onto its side Monday morning near Paris.

The accident took place about 6:45 a.m. near 4080 Jones Bend Road west of Paris.

According to a report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the accident occurred as 2019 International Navistar school bus No. 1917 owned by the Henry County School System was heading east on Jones Bend Road.

In an email interview Monday afternoon, Brian Norton, Henry County director of schools, said the bus, driven by Leon Lyell, 59, of Trezevant, was heading to Henry School when the accident occurred.

Norton said two of the 13 students on the bus were Grove School students who transfer at Henry School.

“The driver encountered the blinding sun as he approached a curve and hill on Jones Bend,” Norton stated.

An examination of the crash site by a P-I reporter suggested the front right tire on the bus appeared to have gone off the right side of the road and into rain-softened earth.

According to the THP report, the vehicle went into a ditch, causing it to roll onto its right side before coming to rest facing east.

“The driver conducted an evacuation of students and waited for law and medical personnel to arrive,” Norton said.

Five of the 13 students on the bus were taken to Henry County Medical Center with what were described as minor injuries, two by ambulance and three by private vehicles.

“As of this email, none expressed anything other than sprains,” Norton wrote.

One student had a chest cavity sprain, another a wrist sprain, while a third had a knee sprain. The other two students had no concerns, he said.  

“I am thankful our students are in good condition,” Norton said. “Our driver took good care of our students, and our first responders also did an outstanding job of caring for our students.”

Lyell was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, according to the THP report.

EDITOR’S NOTE: P-I reporter Cassie Walsh contributed to this story.

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