School bus, SC Department of Corrections van collide on Hwy 17 - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

School bus, SC Department of Corrections van collide


It was a messy scene on U.S. Hwy 17 early Friday morning after a Head Start school bus and a transport van from the South Carolina Department of Corrections collided.

"The transport bus for the Department of Corrections was coming from our Ridgeland facility, which is our maximum security facility and it was transporting 10 former inmates," said Clark Newsom, SC Department of Corrections communications director. "They had just been released from prison and had maxed out their time served. They were being taken to a nearby bus station in Beaufort, where they were going to be put on a bus to be taken back home or wherever they planned on going."

But instead of going home, the former inmates ended up in the hospital. State troopers say the van was traveling north on the highway when the driver of the school bus pulled out onto the roadway from the El Cheapo gas station, causing the two to collide and the bus to overturn. The bus driver hadn't picked up the preschool children for school yet.

"We had one inmate who had head injuries that required him being airlifted to Savannah to the hospital and the driver of the van had some injures that didn't seem to be too serious," said Newsom.

The driver of the van, the rest of the former inmates, and the bus driver and bus monitor were all transported to Beaufort Memorial Hospital. They have all been treated and released.

School bus driver Tina Hamilton, of Pineland, was cited for failure to yield the right of way.

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