LINCOLN COUNTY, Tenn. — A school bus with no students on board and an SUV here caught fire after they collided on Monday morning, authorities said.

Lincoln County School Superintendent Dr. Bill Heath told WHNT that at about 6:45 a.m., the bus had just started its route when the crash occurred. According to the Lincoln County Schools Facebook page, no children were aboard the bus at the time.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol told WAFF that the bus was attempting to make a turn when it struck the SUV, which then hit a utility pole and caught fire. The bus then also caught fire.

Jon Judge, a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper who was nearby at the time of the incident, told WAFF that that the bus driver seemed unharmed at the time, but the SUV driver was pinned into the vehicle; the dashboard had collapsed on his legs. Judge tried unsuccessfully to put the fire out with a fire extinguisher, so he crawled into the SUV and helped the driver evacuate the vehicle. (Dashcam footage included in the story shows the fire spreading from the SUV to the bus and first responders arriving at the scene.)

The bus driver had chest pains and had to be taken to the hospital, according to WAFF. Highway Patrol troopers told the news source that the driver was cited for failure to exercise care and failure to yield the right of way to the oncoming SUV.

Keith Gill, the transportation supervisor for Lincoln County Schools, told WAFF that the bus driver, who has 28 years of experience, and hadn’t had any previous issues while working for the district.

The Lincoln County Board of Education is allowing local fire departments to use the burnt bus for training purposes, according to the news source.

Views photos below of the fire and the burnt bus from the Tennessee Highway Patrol’s Lawrenceburg Twitter page.

About the author
Nicole Schlosser

Nicole Schlosser

Former Executive Editor

Nicole was an editor and writer for School Bus Fleet. She previously worked as an editor and writer for Metro Magazine, School Bus Fleet's sister publication.

View Bio