5 Jasper County students, driver sent to hospital after bus overturns

sbowman@beaufortgazette.comMay 16, 2014 

Five students and a driver were sent to hospitals Friday morning after a bus carrying Jasper County School District students ran off the road and overturned in Ridgeland, according to the S.C. Highway Patrol.

The middle school students and driver were released from the hospitals Friday afternoon, according to school district spokeswoman Shellie Murdaugh. She could not provide further details on their injuries.

The bus was traveling at about 7 a.m. on West Frontage Road, near Gregory Neck Road, and was taking 10 students to Hardeeville-Ridgeland Middle School.

The bus swerved off the right side of the road when the driver reached down to pick up something from the floor, according to Senior Trooper Hannah Wimberly. The driver, 21-year-old Lacharles Singleton, then overcorrected. The bus crossed the lanes and went off the left side of the road, Wimberly said. It then struck a tree and overturned, she said.

The injured were taken to Beaufort Memorial Hospital and Coastal Carolina Hospital in Hardeeville for treatment, Wimberly said.

The wreck ripped the engine block and front axle from the bus, totaling the vehicle, Murdaugh said.

The driver is being charged with driving too fast for conditions, Wimberly said.

Follow reporter Sarah Bowman on Twitter at twitter.com/IPBG_Sarah.

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