The names of the seven Muscogee County School District students injured in Monday morning’s fatal bus crash were released in a report from the Columbus Police Department.
When provided these names, Columbus Regional Health public relations coordinator Jessica Word updated the status of each child:
• Mekala Coles, 9, was airlifted to another hospital.
• Lance Starbuck and Mariel Ladezma, both 5, remain at Midtown Medical Center in stable condition.
• Four other students – Russell Duncan and Jordyn Searcy, both 5; Tyler Thompson, 6; and Chastian Searcy, 9 – were treated and released.
The nature of their injuries weren’t released. All of the students attend Mathews Elementary School, according to MCSD communications director Valerie Fuller.
The bus driver, Roy Newman, 67, was pronounced dead at Midtown Medical Center at 11:12 a.m., said Muscogee County coroner Buddy Bryan, about 3½ hours after the single-vehicle accident on Garrett Road. An autopsy at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab in Decatur will determine the cause of death, he said.
The cause of the wreck is unclear and remains under investigation, officials said.