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December 14, 2017

Pictured is the Grainger County school bus involved in the accident Thursday.

Photo by Heather Dawes

School bus driver suspended following collision with logging truck

Barbara Womack
Grainger Today Correspondent

RUTLEDGE – A Grainger County school bus driver is off the job pending completion of an investigation of a wreck Thursday near the intersection of Rutledge Pike and Indian Ridge Road.

Director of Schools Edwin Jarnagin said he is awaiting the results of drug and alcohol tests before Joey Hodge can be cleared for duty again.

According to a report by the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Hodge was charged with failure to yield after pulling out in front of an empty logging truck.

Jarnagin said insurance adjusters will look at the bus Wednesday to determine the extent of the damage.

He said he expects it to be totaled.

Observers said the truck was also heavily damaged, along with three vehicles in a car lot at the corner of Rutledge Pike and Emory Road.

Jarnagin said he received a call about the wreck at 6:29 a.m. Thursday. He said he was relieved to learn there were no students on board.

“We don’t want accidents to occur any time, but we are grateful no students were involved and Mr. Hodge had only a minor injury,” Jarnagin said.

Hodge was treated for a leg injury at University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville.



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