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School bus accident kills driver of other vehicle

An early morning accident May 2 involving a Williamson County school bus left the driver of another vehicle dead.

According to the accident report provided by the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the driver of a 2005 Jeep pulled out from Kittrell Road eastbound and into the path of the oncoming bus, which was traveling south on Columbia Avenue. Killed in the accident was Jesus M. Diaz De Leon, 42, of Columbia, Tenn., who was driving the Jeep. The bus struck the driver’s side of the SUV, causing the vehicle to flip one time and land upright, according to the THP report. He was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident. According to the report, alcohol was found in the vehicle, although it was unknown whether he had been drinking at the time of the accident. A blood test will be conducted.

None of the 18 children were determined to have injuries at the scene of the accident. However, one child was removed from school by his or her parents, citing minor injuries. The bus driver, Cynthia A. Howell, 56, of Franklin, was treated for minor injuries, according to the accident report.

Columbia Avenue was closed from Henpeck Lane to Goose Creek Bypass for a portion of the day, according to Sharon Puckett, spokesperson for the Williamson County Sheriff's Office. Authorities are rerouting traffic to alternate routes around the accident site. Columbia Avenue is a major artery for Franklin.

The school bus was en route to Independence High School when the accident occurred. The children on the bus were examined by emergency responders then taken to school on a different bus.

Additional counselors will reportedly be available at Independence High School.

Posted on: 5/2/2013


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