Pickup/bus collision kills 3 in Simpson

Three people were killed Wednesday when their pickup truck collided with a school bus in Simpson County.

Sheriff Kenneth Lewis said the victims were employees with Circle S Inc., a family-owned industrial contractor in New Hebron.

Lewis identified the victims as 27-year-old Tara Leonard, of Monticello, the driver of the company pickup; 32-year-old Richard Jonakin of Silver Creek; and 58-year-old Don A- Smith of Smithdale.

Lewis said the accident occurred on state Highway 43 when Leonard apparently lost control of the vehicle, crossed the median and collided with the school bus.

Simpson County school superintendent Jack McAlpin says no children were on the bus.

McAlpin says the bus driver, Thomas Lowery of Mendenhall, suffered bruises from the steering wheel of the bus.