A 77-foot log sticking out from the back of a truck pierced the windshield and door of a school bus, leaving three children dead and 25 more injured, seven of them seriously.
The bus hit the log as the truck turned into an industrial park just outside the city limits, said Wayne County Sheriff Marvin Farrior. He said the truck's turn swung the 77-foot log into the bus.
Farrier said the log and another also protruding from the back of the truck pierced the front of the bus along the right windshield and door.
"It was one of the most awful things I have ever seen in my life," Farrior said. "We were using all the ambulances we had, private cars and everything we could to get them to the hospital."
The bus was fully loaded and had just started its run home from Wayne Academy in this southeastern Mississippi town. Pupils aboard the bus ranged from elementary to junior high school pupils.
Authorities said one of the dead children, identified as Shannon Kittrell, 9, was the son of the bus driver, Denise Kittrell, who was not injured. Officers said Mark Hutto, 7, and Miranda Kittrell, 10, who is not believed to be related to the bus driver, were killed by the impact.
Seven children were admitted to Wayne General Hospital in serious condition, the hospital said.