Man killed in collision with Coffee County school bus; 22 children on bus reported to be OK
School and law enforcement officials tend to students on the bus that collided with an SUV Monday afternoon. (Staff photo by John Coffelt)
A Coffee County man is dead following a collision with a Coffee County school bus Monday afternoon on Murfreesboro Highway near Blanton Chapel Road.
Coffee County Sheriff Steve Graves confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the deceased is Freddie Reynolds, owner of Freddie’s Oyster Bar on Highway 55 in Manchester. The Tennessee Highway Patrol was not prepared to release details of the accident Tuesday, only stating that the accident was “still under investigation.” According to authorities, Reynolds was pronounced dead on arrival.
According to school officials, 22 students were on board the bus when it collided with a Jeep Cherokee, which was operated by Reynolds.
According to Coffee County Schools Director Dr. LaDonna McFall, one high-school-age student was taken to the hospital with complaints of back pain but that student “checked out OK.”
The students on the bus were taken to North Coffee Elementary where they were to be picked up by their parents. The driver of the bus, who has been identified as Patricia (Pat) McCollough, was transported to an area hospital for treatment of her injuries. According to school officials, McCollough began working with the school system as a bus driver in 1985 and has amassed 29 years of service.
“This has hit us all very hard,” McFall said Monday night. “My heart certainly goes out to that family that lost a loved one. I hate that we lost someone in our community.”
McFall added that preliminary reports indicate that proper procedures were followed by school personnel.
“I have asked a lot of questions and it appears that the driver was doing what she was supposed to. But we need to wait on official reports from law enforcement to confirm that.”