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Crash involving 6 buses in Newton Co. leaves injuries

COVINGTON (AP) — A chain collision that damaged six school buses and a car on Saturday trapped one driver east of Atlanta and forced medical officials to examine more than 50 other people for injuries, authorities said.

The accident happened on Interstate 20 while the buses were taking students from Burke County near the South Carolina state line to a Six Flags amusement park outside of Atlanta, said Johnny Jenkins, chairman of the Burke County Board of Education.

Traffic on the highway had slowed approaching Covington because of a closed lane, said Gordy Wright, a spokesman for the Georgia State Patrol, which is investigating the accident. As the buses reduced speed, one bus was struck from behind by another school bus, setting off a chain collision that damaged six buses and a car. The accident temporarily shut down westbound traffic on the major highway.

Rescue crews had to cut a bus driver, Angela Benjamin Jones, 44, from the wreckage, said Amy Nunnally, a spokeswoman for the Burke County school system. The driver, who was conscious and able to communicate with emergency workers, was flown to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta and listed in stable condition.

Two other people suffered injuries, police said. About 50 others were examined at regional hospitals for possible injuries after the wreck. Aside from the bus driver, school officials said none of the injuries appeared serious.

"Just a few bruises, scrapes," Nunnally said. "Nothing bad happened to any of our children."