A school bus ended up in what is being called a freak accident in Lincoln County, Tennessee on the morning of Thursday, August 6, 2015 when it pulled onto the shoulder of a narrow roadway, only to have the shoulder collapse under the weight of the vehicle. Neither the driver nor any of the students on board the bus at the time of the incident were injured in the accident.
The bus pulled to the side of the road in order to allow another, oncoming vehicle—a pickup truck—to pass. This maneuver was necessary due to the slim size of the road. When the bus pulled over to make way for the truck, it reportedly caused the gravel of the road shoulder to give. This led to the bus turning over on its side, alarming—but not injuring—all inside its cabin.
County officials stated that, although this was a new route for this particular bus, the path had gone through rigorous repeated inspection before being mapped out and put into use. There is, however, some concern that the narrowness of the road upon which the accident occurred may have played a distinct role in the incident. The question of whether a vehicle of this size should be using a slender roadway of questionable integrity as part of its regular route is now being posed by witnesses, parents and county officials.
Representatives from Lincoln County have stated a desire to widen the road in question, but the project would require funding that the county simply does not have, and approval from officials at a higher level to make the proposed changes. The county does not have ownership of the land to the sides of the roadway, and lacks the financial means of purchasing the land in order to widen up the roads.
School district officials have stated that the bus route is to remain the same, and that psychological professionals will be on hand to help students who are struggling with the trauma of an accident of this type.