Five Killed, Five Injured in Bus/Truck Accident on US-65 in Chicot County, AR
Chicot County, AR — June 6, 2022, five people died and five were injured when a school bus and a tractor-trailer collided on U.S. Highway 65 in Chicot County.
According to reports the incident happened around 2:45 p.m. at the crossing of U.S. Highway 65 and State Highway 35. Preliminary investigation suggests 47-year-old Susan Kennedy was driving a C.B. King School bus west on AR-35 when she approached the US-65 intersection. Kennedy allegedly failed to yield when crossing through the intersection and the bus was hit on its right side by a southbound Freightliner 18-wheeler.
19-year-old Brayshawn Ranson, 50-year-old Tommy Figures, 56-year-old Terry King, 65-year-old Regina Jackson and 73-year-old Geraldine Prewitt were killed in the collision. Also injured in the wreck were Kennedy, 25-year-old Cebra Jordan, 18-year-old Zantress Willis, 21-year-old Robert Bell, and 52-year-old truck driver Charles Fowler. The injured survivors were transported to several area hospitals.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Bus/Truck Accident on US-65 in Chicot County
Images of the intersection suggest traffic on AR-35 is meant to yield to vehicles on US-65. It's not clear yet why the bus driver might not have done so in Chicot County, but instead of guessing about that it's better to carefully investigate and consider all the possible explanations.
For example: Could the bus have had some kind of mechanical or brake problem? What about any health problems that might have incapacitated the driver? Did something affect her view of the stop sign or the approaching big rig? Were there any other vehicles around at the time? Could bad weather or poor road conditions have been a factor? Does that area have any history of crashes? Is the intersection designed poorly in some way? Setting aside right-of-way for a moment, could the truck driver have done anything else to avoid the collision?
I know how that last question may come across but I'm not out to point fingers. I just want to make sure all the details are learned as they should be after any accident. Important considerations and unusual factors sometimes get overlooked during police investigations. We even saw a wreck in West Texas where someone allegedly ran a stop sign and fatally crashed with an 18-wheeler, only for us to find out later that TxDOT crews removed the intersection's signs during construction. The victim didn't even know he had to stop, but until that was learned police reports unfairly blamed him.
It's pretty unlikely the same thing happened in Chicot County, but the point is many crashes aren't as simple as they appear and critical details get overlooked or misunderstood. Everyone hurt by the crash deserves the assurance that every effort will be made to find the whole truth of it. Will police be thorough enough to get that, or should an independent investigation be started?