Three Salem Elementary students and their bus driver were injured Feb. 11 after a tractor trailer rear-ended their school bus at approximately 3:20 p.m. on Highway 9, 4 1/2 miles north of Salem.
The students were transported to Fulton County Hospital for treatment. The injured children were seated at the time of the wreck.
School bus driver Nancy Grass, 44, was treated at the scene.
Salem Superintendent Ken Rich said injuries to all were minor.
"Our students were treated for soreness and then released," Rich said. "We are very fortunate no one was seriously hurt."
The driver of the 1998 International tractor trailer, Michael W. Hayes, has been charged with following too close, a misdemeanor.
According to the Arkansas State Police, the school bus was stopped at a student's house when Hayes rammed the bus.
"The students who were about to get off the bus hadn't left their seats before the bus got hit," Rich said.
Rich said Grass contacted authorities immediately following the crash.
Each school bus is equipped with a radio. Rich, Salem High School Principal Wayne Guiltner and Jamie Turnbough, the Salem Elementary School principal, rushed to the scene.
"The driver (Grass) handled the situation very well," Rich said. "When we arrived all the students were still in their seats and everyone was calm."
Onlookers watched as the three students were taken off the bus on stretchers. There were 11 students on the bus at the time of the collision.
Damage to the bus was undetermined at press time. The bus was driven from the scene of the wreck.
"Those buses are built to withstand an impact," Rich said. "It's comforting to see a piece of equipment that is suppose to protect our children do its job."
Hayes, who lives in Central City, Ky., was hauling a load of cut lumber. The tractor trailer was removed by a wrecker from Lynn's Auto Salvage.
Weather was not a factor in the wreck.
Cpl. Ronnie Stewart of the Arkansas State Police said Hayes was following the bus too close.
No other vehicles were involved in the wreck.
The Arkansas State Police, Arkansas Highway Patrol, Fulton County Sheriff's Department, First Responders and the Camp Volunteer Fire Department worked the accident scene.