A fiery crash involving a Ford Mustang and a South Pike County School District bus is still an active investigation, according to the Arkansas State Police.
The crash happened around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20 on Highway 27, near Twin Ridge Road.
The school bus was stopped in the eastbound lane with the brake and stop lights activated and two children exiting at a regular stop when a Mustang collided with the rear of the bus and a fire ignited within the car.
The driver of the Mustang, Lainie Baxter, a Murfreesboro High School senior, was made known later since the ASP policy prevents the identification of juveniles in accident reports.
The bus was driven by Linda Compton, 58, of Murfreesboro and Pike County Sheriff Travis Hill commended Compton’s handling of the situation. Compton was not injured.
“She did exactly what she needed to do,” Sheriff Hill said.
Nine juvenile passengers were onboard the bus at the time of impact.
Two of them were transported by ambulance from the scene with minor injuries. Baxter was also transported from the scene and ended up at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock.
ASP Trooper Seth Smedley reported Baxter’s vehicle made an attempt to stop before hitting the bus, leaving an 82-foot brake mark on the roadway.
Trooper Smedley also determined that Baxter had been wearing a seat belt.
Smedley said the crash remains under investigation and charges are pending.
According to Baxter’s family posts on social media, the Lady Rattler basketball standout was released from the hospital Friday.
Baxter suffered fractures to the vertebrae in her lower back in the crash, but no surgery has been required; instead she has been fitted with a special back brace that is expected to serve as her treatment plan in the coming months.