Tennessee School Bus Driver Killed, 2 Students Injured in Wrong-Way Crash

A 55-year-old Tennessee bus driver was killed after a man allegedly drove his pickup truck into the wrong lane and hit the bus head-on

A Tennessee school bus driver was killed Monday in a wrong-way crash after an 18-year-old man allegedly drove his pickup truck into the wrong lane, hitting the bus head-on, police said.

According to WJHL, the Tennessee Highway Patrol said that bus driver Aleita Gladson, 55, of Rogersville, Tenn., was driving on Highway 70 in Hawkins County around 7:30 a.m. on Monday morning when the man allegedly drove his 2005 Chevy Silverado in front of the bus, killing the 55-year-old.

Footage from WJHL shows that both vehicles were crumpled by the crash.

The 18-year-old, whose name has not been released, was also injured in the crash and charges are pending, according to the CBS affiliate station WVLT.

The Hawkins County Rescue Squad extricated one person from the crash site and airlifted them from the scene near Willow Road in northern Tennessee, ABC affiliate WAVE reported.

Hawkins County Schools director Matt Hixson first announced Gladson’s death in a statement, and confirmed that two students on the bus also received medical treatment for their minor injuries, according to the News Tribune.

“Aleita was a longtime and valued Hawkins County Schools team member, as a bus driver, as a secretary and as assistant director within our Transportation Department,” Hixson told the publication in a statement. “Our prayers go out to her family, and we would ask that all those within our Hawkins County community keep Aleita’s family in your prayers as well.”

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Many members of the community — where Gladson attended high school before beginning work as a bus driver — posted tributes on social media after her death, the Tribune reported.

“Hawkins County lost a wonderful woman, the part of the bus system that made it run smoothly and a vital part of the lives of the kids she encountered this morning,” one community member wrote in a Facebook post.

PEOPLE has reached out to the Tennessee Highway Patrol for comment.

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