Child Hospitalized After Fayetteville School Bus Crash

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One child was hospitalized Monday afternoon (March 4) with an apparent minor injury when a Fayetteville school bus collided with a meat-packing truck in a "low-speed" accident, a school district spokesman said.

A 10-year-old girl reporting a minor neck injury was taken to Washington Regional Medical Center, while a 9-year-old girl reporting a minor injury was taken away by her father in a family vehicle, said Alan Wilbourn, spokeman for the Fayetteville School District.

Steven Marchese, the school bus driver, was cited by police on suspicion of careless driving. The 62-year-old driver is from Fayetteville, police said.

Thirty-three students from Happy Hollow Elementary and McNair Middle School were on the bus at the time of the accident near Huntsville Road and Colonial Drive in Fayetteville, Wilbourn said.The wreck was one mile east of the West Fork bridge over the White River, Wilbourn said.

The remaining students were transferred to another bus after the wreck, Wilbourn said.

"We are very unfortunate to have an accident like this, but all things considered we are very fortunate that all students although delayed did make it home this afternoon," Wilbourn said.

Emergency crews initially responded to the scene at about 3:30 p.m., believing two students could be injured, police said.

The school bus had minor damage to the front of the bus, Wilbourn said. He said police were investigating Monday afternoon to determine who was at fault in the accident.

Police said Marchese looked in the bus' rear-view mirror, and when he looked forward, he saw traffic had come to a stop. He was unable to stop the bus in time, colliding with a Garner Meat Company truck, according to the Fayetteville Police Department.