A Laurens County School District 55 bus was involved in an accident on Highway 101 at Harris Grove Church Rd. in Gray Court on Monday afternoon around 4:30 p.m. There were no students on board the bus at the time of the accident, but the driver of a 1981 Ford Fairmont died at the scene.
The accident is under investigation by the South Carolina Highway Patrol, but according to Master Trooper David Jones, the bus, a 2018 Thomas model, was headed southbound on Hwy. 101 and crossed left of center, where it hit the Ford, headed northbound, head-on.
The drivers of both vehicles were seatbelted. The bus driver was transported to Greenville Memorial Hospital with minor injuries. Neither vehicle carried any passengers.
Herman Alexander Black, 55, of Woodruff died of blunt-force trauma, according to the Laurens County Coroner’s Office.
LCSD 55 Superintendent, Dr. Stephen Peters, said, “We are greatly distressed by the loss of life resulting from this accident, and we wish to offer our heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased. We strive to operate our buses as safely as possible and will do all we can to learn from this experience. The safety and security of our students, our staff and the community are our number one priority, and this is a tragic loss.”
District spokesperson, Ed Murray, indicated that the district will have no further comments pending the outcome of the accident investigation.
“We will learn what we can from this distressing event and incorporate those lessons in refining our practices and training our drivers as effectively as possible,” said Murray.