Tennessee Highway Patrol releases details of deadly crash
School and law enforcement officials tend to students on this school bus that collided with a Jeep Cherokee Monday afternoon on U.S. Highway 41. The driver of the Jeep, Freddie Reynolds, was killed in the accident. All 22 students on the bus were OK. (Staff photo by John Coffelt)
By Josh Peterson, editor
The Tennessee Highway Patrol released a report late Thursday detailing the deadly crash that involved a Coffee County school bus and a local business owner Monday afternoon.
Freddie Reynolds, 63, owner of Freddie’s Oyster Bar in Manchester, was killed in the crash when his 2000 Jeep Cherokee was struck by a Coffee County school bus on U.S. Highway 41 near Blanton Chapel Road. There were 22 students on the bus and only one reported injuries. According to school officials, that high-school-age student was “checked out OK” at a local hospital.
According to the THP report released Thursday, the bus was traveling North on U.S. Highway 41 (Murfreesboro Highway) when the Jeep Cherokee operated by Reynolds exited his driveway to make a left turn. According to the trooper’s report, Reynolds “failed to yield to the bus and pulled into the northbound lane and was struck in the drivers side door.”
The report also states that Reynolds was pronounced dead on arrival.
The driver of the school bus, Patricia McCollough, 74, was transported to a local hospital for treatment of her injuries that were not life threatening. According to school records, McCollough has been driving a bus for the school system since 1985 and has amassed 29 years of service.
“This has hit us all very hard,” Coffee County Schools Director Dr. LaDonna 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.”
Students were checked on the scene and transported to North Coffee Elementary School where they were picked up by their parents, according to school officials. No criminal charges will be filed, according to the report.
Funeral services for Reynolds will be conducted at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 19, at Coffee County Funeral Chapel. Visitation will be from 5-9 p.m. Friday, April 18, at the funeral home.