Carroll Academy: 'On the way to mending'

By LAKEADRA COFFEY,

Less than 24 hours after a Carroll Academy bus carrying 25 children went down an embankment on Highway 82, Headmistress Penny Mitchell said students, faculty and staff at Carroll Academy are “on the way to mending.”

Around 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon on Highway 82 near Old Greenwood Road, bus driver Jerry King had a medical emergency that sent the bus down an embankment. Mitchell reported to the Greenwood Commonwealth that King was conscious when he was taken by MedStat to a local hospital before being airlifted to the North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo, where he remains.

Wednesday, parents of students involved gathered at Providence Baptist Church to collect their children — many seen standing on the muddy hill looking at the bus half buried in kudzu in disbelief.

Mitchell said Carroll Academy had been blessed by the Good Lord, and she’s thankful that it wasn’t worse.

According to reports, Mississippi Highway Patrol Public Affairs Officer Sgt. Ronald Shive said 13 students were taken to an area hospital with minor injuries. 

Mitchell said Thursday morning, students and faculty met for an assembly before school began and had a devotion time. She said students were still shaken up from the incident.

“We prayed, sang worship songs and held a devotion and I think it helped,” she said. “We’re not there, but we’re on our way to mending.”

She said right now, there’s no word on King’s condition or what happened that led to the accident. 

“I spoke with his daughter and she said they were running some tests but they still don’t know what happened,” she said. “We haven’t heard anything else.”

Mitchell said she thanked everyone who stopped to help get students off the bus and to safety. “We’re thankful for everyone that stopped to help us,” she said. “Things have calmed down, we appreciate them very much.”