More than 20 Mississippi students hospitalized in bus crash

MCCARLEY, Miss. (AP) — A bus fell onto its side on a busy Mississippi highway Monday, causing more than 20 high school students to be hospitalized.

One student was airlifted to a hospital with severe injuries, Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Ronnie Shive told The Greenwood Commonwealth . Shive said 20 others who were hospitalized had bruises and abrasions.

The bus was carrying 40 students and three football coaches back to Greenwood from a football camp in Starkville, Greenwood school district spokeswoman Margaret Dean said, adding that head football coach Clinton Gatewood was driving.

An initial investigation shows Gatewood lost control of the bus and that it ran off the right edge of the pavement, Shive said. Gatewood overcorrected and crossed over the left edge of the road, Shive said, with the bus then flipping onto its side as Gatewood tried to swerve back to the right.

Gatewood spoke briefly to the newspaper before he hung up, saying, “I want to be with my kids now.”

Carroll County Emergency Management Director Ken Strachan said no other vehicles were involved in the crash on U.S. 82 between Winona and Carrollton, on the edge of Mississippi’s Delta region.

Shive says state troopers and Carroll County sheriff’s deputies had difficulty accounting for students and coaches as parents arrived in their own vehicles and took groups of students from the scene.

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Information from: The Greenwood Commonwealth, http://www.gwcommonwealth.com

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