Lack of citation in bus wreck could be hurdle for insurance|[05/25/08]

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 25, 2008

When insurance companies begin considering what happened in the moments before a Vicksburg Warren School District bus crossed paths with an empty log truck on May 7, they aren’t likely to have clear fault established in the final accident report.

Accounts from school district employees told police there was little question the truck driver attempted but failed to stop at red flashing caution lights as the bus driver crossed Mississippi 27 to pick up students at Warren Central High School.

State law spells out traffic regulations in great detail, mandating drivers to stop at single and at traditional, three-color traffic signals.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Though troopers took statements from both drivers, the act of running the red light will not merit a ticket from the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol.

In the week after the wreck, Sgt. James Walker said troopers must see a moving violation with their own eyes to write a ticket.

“We have to see a misdemeanor,” Walker said, adding only “contributing circumstances” can be compiled at the scene.

Joyce Ellis, 42, a 12-year bus driver with the district, along with her son, Jeremiah, another adult and 38 other students were treated and released from River Region Medical Center. The owner and driver of the log truck, Leo Nicholson, 61, was neither injured nor cited.

Superintendent Dr. James Price said repairing the bus