Ice cream truck driver speaks about bus crash

Published: Apr. 4, 2012 at 3:25 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 9, 2012 at 3:25 AM EDT
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CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - We talked to the driver of an ice cream truck that hit a Chesterfield school bus head on.

Seven students from Midlothian High, along with the bus and truck drivers, were taken to the hospital.

Everyone is okay... and the man accused of causing the accident is telling his side of the story.

The ice cream truck driver said he suddenly saw brake lights in front of him.

He saw trees to the right. And road to the left. So he swerved left — but he didn't see the school bus coming until it was too late.

Just one quick glance at the scene of the head-on crash — and you'd probably think the worst.

It's somewhat hard to believe that, just hours later, the driver of the ice cream truck, Jemel Murphy, stood in front of our camera to talk about it all.

"I saw the traffic in front of me stop abruptly. I remember trying to swerve, the collision and getting ejected from the seat," said Jemel.

There are skid marks caked onto the road where Jemel swerved out of the way.

Looking at the scene, you can see the impact from the crash by looking at the van. You can see right into where the driver was sitting — the steering wheel just standing up in the middle of the air.

Gene: "What do you think when you see that? I mean, you were sitting in that front seat."

Jemel: "I'm blessed. I'm blessed. A lot of people don't make it out of stuff like this."

The front of the school bus was caved into the drivers seat.

The seven kids hurt were taken to St. Francis Medical for treatment — along with Jemel.

"I saw a couple of people in the hospital and they asked if I was okay. I talked to them for a little bit and apologized," said Jemel.

Police charged Jemel with reckless driving.

He said he's not upset about that — because he understand it's the law.

He's just glad everyone is alive to talk about this horrific crash.

"You can put a price on ice cream, but you can't put a price on life."

The Chesterfield school bus driver was taken to VCU Medical Center with serious injuries — she is expected to be okay.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.