Man pinned in van after crash with bus

Photo by Heather Middleton

Photo by Heather Middleton

A driver had to be cut out of his van early Thursday morning after he slammed into a Clayton County school bus that turned left in front of him, said police.

A heavy-duty truck from New Image Towing was called in to lift the bus off the van before Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services personnel could free the pinned driver, said Battalion Chief Jacque Feilke. Rescue workers took about 35 minutes to free him, using the jaws of life and other various hydraulic tools.

The driver was air-lifted to a trauma center where he was in serious condition, said Feilke.

Clayton County Police Sgt. Otis Willis said the school bus was traveling south on Ga. 42 in Rex about 8:30 a.m. when the driver turned left onto Evans Drive. Willis said the van driver, traveling north on Ga. 42, was unable to stop in time to avoid colliding with the bus.

Willis said the bus driver, who will be cited for failure to yield while turning left, was also transported to a local hospital as a precaution. School starts in Clayton County Monday, so the bus was not carrying students.

Willis reminded all drivers to use caution on the roads.

"Take care to make sure you have clearance before making any turns," he said.

Neither driver was identified Thursday afternoon.

-- Kathy Jefcoats