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Two hurt after truck, school bus collide
Man charged with DUI, running red light
The driver of this pickup truck faces several charges after colliding with a school bus Wednesday afternoon at Buford Highway and Trammel Road. - photo by Jim Dean

Two elementary school students were injured Wednesday afternoon when an alleged drunk driver collided with their school bus on Buford Highway, authorities said.

Forsyth County Fire Capt. Jason Shivers said the students suffered minor injuries and were taken by ambulance to Northside Hospital-Forsyth for treatment.

They were later transferred to Children’s Hospital of Atlanta. Their conditions could not be determined Thursday.

The collision happened about 3:15 p.m. Wednesday at Buford Highway (Hwy. 20) and Trammel Road.

Forsyth County Sheriff’s Sgt. Chad Latonis said the bus struck a black Chevrolet pickup that witnesses reported had run a red light at the crossing.

The driver of the pickup, identified as 47-year-old Gregory Scott Phillips of Flowery Branch, was charged with failure to obey a traffic control device, hit and run and driving under the influence.

Phillips was released late Wednesday from the Forsyth County Detention Center after posting a $5,600 bond, a jail spokeswoman said.

Latonis said the bus was on Trammel and attempting to turn onto Buford Highway heading west toward Cumming.

The bus struck the truck, which was traveling east on Buford Highway, as it went through the intersection.

Latonis said the truck "malfunctioned due to heavy damage” and stopped after traveling about 1,000 yards from the crossing.

Some passers-by stopped near where the truck came to a rest and reportedly watched Phillips until deputies arrived.

Jennifer Caracciolo, spokeswoman for the Forsyth County school system, said the bus was carrying 38 students, all of whom attend Mashburn Elementary.

She said most of the children were in kindergarten through third grade, with few fourth- or fifth-graders on board.

"After reviewing the incident, we feel extremely fortunate that only minor injuries did occur," said Caracciolo, adding that the wreck could have been worse if the impact had been elsewhere on the bus.

Traffic on the highway was disrupted for about 45 minutes after the wreck while the scene was cleared and the students were loaded onto another school bus.

Shivers said firefighters used extra caution to ensure all of the children were accounted for.

“As soon as we arrived, head counts were taken prior to the removal of the injured children,” Shivers said.

Shivers said they took another count after the second bus arrived to make sure the remaining 36 made it aboard.