A head-on collision between a school bus and a vehicle left one man dead Friday afternoon.
James Alexander “Alex” Cooper, 21, of Covington died after colliding with a school bus on Ga. Highway 36 around 2 p.m.
Cooper attempted to make a left turn on Ga. Highway 36 from his house, 12510 Ga. Highway 36, when he pulled into the path of an oncoming bus, according to Gordy Wright, spokesman for the Georgia State Patrol.
There were 16 students on the bus, which was transporting students to their homes from Indian Creek Middle School. NCSS students were released early from school on Friday for teacher professional learning activities.
One student complained of an injury, Wright said. However, there were no other serious injuries reported.
Students were released to their parents who came to the scene, said Sherri Davis-Viniard, Newton County School System public relations director. Another bus was dispatched to the scene to transport the remaining students on the bus home. Davis-Viniard said the bus sustained significant damage.
Traffic going south from Covington was backed up to High Point Baptist Church, which is just south of the intersection of Ga. Highway 36 and Flat Shoals Road/Henderson Mill Road, for a few hours as the Newton County Sheriff’s Office and GSP investigated the accident.
Wright said no charges would be filed in the accident.
At the news of Cooper’s death, dozens of people who knew him logged onto Facebook, leaving messages about the type of man he was.
Karenda Martin commented on Facebook, saying that, “He was a great guy and a pleasure to work with at Publix. He was going to school to be a chef and working at Publix part time.”
“I knew Alex for several years and although we hadn’t spoken recently, I will always remember how he could make anyone laugh,” said Joanna Flynn. “It didn’t matter what the situation was, he could pull a joke out of thin air. That was pretty much everyone’s favorite thing about him. He will be missed and prayers go out to his family.”