9 students hospitalized after 18-wheeler hits school bus in Wilson, officials say

FILE — This 2015 file photo shows public school buses. (AP Photo/File)

At least nine students were hospitalized Thursday after an 18-wheeler crashed into a Rivercrest School District bus in Wilson, the superintendent confirmed.

The wreck occurred during the afternoon route, shortly after 3:30 p.m., in the area of U.S. 61 and Arkansas 14, Superintendent Sally Bennett said.

“We did have some children taken by ambulance,” she said. “Everyone was treated and released, thankfully.”

The bus contained 23 or so students of various ages, according to the school district.

“There’s always concern whenever there is any type of accident like this,” Bennett said. “Everyone handled it calmly. There was a lot of fright, but other than that, it was bumps and bruises and a couple of sprains.”

The Rivercrest School District is a rural district located in the northeast Arkansas Delta region that serves about 1,220 students in grades pre-kindergarten through 12th, according to its website.

Bennett issued a public statement after the crash, reminding motorists to use caution when sharing the road with school buses.

“The Rivercrest School District understands its obligation to safely transport its students and is taking this opportunity to remind the driving public to watch out for our big yellow school buses,” she wrote. “They carry our precious students on the roads every weekday morning and afternoon.”

Information about the driver of the 18-wheeler was not immediately available Monday morning.