HAHIRA -- Tuesday afternoon, several Hahira Middle School students were injured when their school bus, Lowndes County School bus No. 165, was hit from behind.

About 3:30 p.m., the unidentified bus driver stopped to allow a child to get off the bus when a pickup truck towing a trailer rear-ended the bus, Newnan Sanchez, principal said.

The bus was heading east on Georgia Highway 122, Hahira's main street.

"Several children suffered bumps and bruises," Sanchez said. "We are thankful no one was really hurt."

Most of the children were examined by emergency medical technicians on the scene and released. Parents were also contacted by school officials. Sanchez said four children were taken to Smith Hospital for further examination.

"Others may have been taken by their parents after they got home later that afternoon," Sanchez said.

Of the four who were transported to the hospital, all were released that night. Sanchez said he remained at the hospital that night to make sure each of his students was OK.

"These are my students," Sanchez said.

The remaining students were transported to their homes via a substitute school bus that afternoon.

"To the best of my knowledge, everyone is back at school now," Sanchez said.

Bus No. 165 remains operable and is still being used to transport students to and from home, said Billy Mortonson, transportation director.

Although there was a dent in the bus' bumper, the rear emergency door is still operable and the bus was determined to be safe by school officials.

No further details are known at this time.

Hahira Police said they are investigating the incident and hope to have a complete and detailed report ready for release Monday.

To contact reporter Jessica Pope, please call 244-3400, ext. 255.

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