School district ‘grieving’ after bus driver dies in highway crash

Missouri officials say 72-year-old James Kennedy died while he was driving a school bus that crashed. (Source: KFVS)
Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 9:24 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PERRY COUNTY, Mo. (KFVS/Gray News) - A school district in Missouri is dealing with the death of one of its bus drivers following a crash Tuesday morning.

According to the Perry County School District 32, school bus driver James Kennedy, 72, died in a crash after authorities said his bus went into a ditch on Highway K.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the crash happened around 6 a.m. when a school bus crossed the centerline on the highway and sideswiped a box truck traveling in the opposite direction.

The highway patrol said the force of the crash caused the bus to go off the roadway and into a ditch, killing the driver, later identified as Kennedy. The 72-year-old was not wearing a seat belt.

Authorities said the truck driver was not injured, and no students were on the bus at the time of the crash.

School district officials said the team is “grieving the loss of a beloved bus driver.”

Kennedy had been a school bus driver for the district since October 2021. He previously drove buses for the Sikeston School District and was a truck driver for 40 years.

Deputy Superintendent Dr. Fara Jones shared that Kennedy’s daughter and her partner teach at Perryville High School. He was also the uncle of Superintendent Andy Comstock.