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Tree falls on Troup County school bus; student, driver injured

By James Morton

jmorton@civitasmedia.com

A window of a Troup County School System bus shows damage after it was struck by a falling dead tree Thursday afternoon while the bus was traveling on Hunt Road.

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2015/09/web1_WEB092515Schoolbus21.jpgA window of a Troup County School System bus shows damage after it was struck by a falling dead tree Thursday afternoon while the bus was traveling on Hunt Road.

James Morton | Daily News

The hood of a Troup County School System bus shows minor damage after it was struck by a falling dead tree Thursday while the bus was traveling on Hunt Road.

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2015/09/web1_WEB092515Schoolbus31.jpgThe hood of a Troup County School System bus shows minor damage after it was struck by a falling dead tree Thursday while the bus was traveling on Hunt Road.

James Morton | Daily News

A Troup County School System bus sits on Hunt Road near a dead tree that fell on the bus as it was traveling Thursday afternoon. A student was injured and flown to an area trauma center for evaluation as a precautionary measure, according to a school system official, and the driver received minor injuries.

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2015/09/web1_WEB0925Schoolbus11.jpgA Troup County School System bus sits on Hunt Road near a dead tree that fell on the bus as it was traveling Thursday afternoon. A student was injured and flown to an area trauma center for evaluation as a precautionary measure, according to a school system official, and the driver received minor injuries.

James Morton | Daily News

LaGRANGE — A dead pine tree fell across Hunt Road and struck a school bus Thursday afternoon, injuring a student and the driver.

The passenger was flown to an area trauma center for evaluation as a precautionary measure, said Yolanda Stephen, director of public relations for the Troup County School System. The driver was taken to West Georgia Medical center by ambulance for minor injuries.

“It’s very unfortunate. We never want something to happen like that,” Stephen told the Daily News this morning. “It was just an act that was out of our hands. We are grateful that the driver is okay. At this point, all we know is that one (student) went to school (today) and the other stayed home just for precautionary measures.”

At the scene Thursday, a 12-year-old passenger said the bus driver “slammed on brakes” after the tree shattered the window.

“The tree fell on us. I didn’t get a full glimpse of what happened, but it knocked out one of the windows,” said the student. “… I was like, ‘Whoa, what just happened?’”

According to Charles Smith, assistant shop supervisor for Troup County School System, the tree hit the hood of the bus, then flew back and struck the window, causing it to break.

There was minor damage to the hood of the bus.

James Morton is a reporter at LaGrange Daily News. He may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2154. Follow him on Twitter at jmorton_LDN.