Motorist dies in bus collision

Published 6:00 pm Thursday, September 29, 2011

A late Wednesday afternoon car accidentkilled an employee of a local restaurant and sent 16 Lincoln Countystudents to the hospital as a precaution, authorities said.

    Tammy Jo Brown, 21, of Wesson, died as a result of an accident witha school bus carrying Enterprise Attendance Center students onLittle Rock Church Road. The accident, reported at 4:06 p.m., was ahead-on collision between the westbound bus and the eastbound 2002Pontiac driven by Brown.

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    Lincoln County Coroner Clay McMorris said Brown died at the scene.McMorris said an autopsy will be performed on Brown.

    No other serious injuries have been reported.

    A passenger in Brown’s vehicle, 19-year-old Jordan Michael Hunt,was walking at the scene and not hurt. Hunt lived in the sameWesson apartment complex as Brown, authorities said.

    The bus was carrying 16 students from Enterprise Attendance Center,primarily middle school students, said Enterprise Principal ShannonEubanks. A Copiah County school bus transported all students toKing’s Daughters Medical Center.

    “There were a couple that had shock and bumps and bruises,” Eubankssaid. “There was a student that had bumped her head prettygood.”

    Neither Eubanks nor Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing were awareof any students held overnight.

    Shelia Brister, the bus driver, suffered some injuries. Authoritiesreported she left the scene with one arm in a sling.

    Eubanks said Brister was primarily troubled emotionally.

    “I spoke to the bus driver briefly,” Eubanks said. “She was verydisconcerted, very upset about the whole situation.”

    KDMC representatives said Brister was treated and released.

    The busload had dwindled by the time of the accident.

    “We were fortunate the route had just about finished,” Eubankssaid. “That’s a long route, in the neighborhood of 60 students onthat route.”

    Also, Brown’s young child was no longer in the car with her at thetime of the accident. Brown had dropped her 4-month-old child at ababy sitter’s house approximately 15 minutes before the accident,said McMorris.

    Brown was an employee of the Cracker Barrel restaurant inBrookhaven and was scheduled to work a shift Wednesday night. Thecar she was driving had a Marion County license plate andreportedly belonged to her boyfriend.

    The cause of the accident remains under investigation. Officerswith the Mississippi Highway Patrol were called to the scene topreserve the accident site for an MHP accident reconstruction.

    Enterprise can move forward with no interruption to bus routes.

    Eubanks said the school has a spare bus ready to replace the onedamaged in the accident. He explained the Lincoln County SchoolDistrict has purchased one new bus for each school in the districtevery year.

    Eubanks explained a bus replaced in previous years by a new one canbe put back onto the route.

    “It is still in very good condition,” Eubanks said.