MARLBORO COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – A Marlboro County bus driver died after a hit-and-run crash Wednesday afternoon. The other driver was arrested shortly after the crash, and was charged with reckless homicide.
On Thursday, family and friends of Horace Little Jr., spoke about a man who they say was committed to the community and the students he drove to and from school.
Marlboro County Coroner Tim Brown said Little, 69, died at McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence from injuries sustained in the accident.
The driver of the vehicle at the center of the hit-and-run was arrested Wednesday afternoon.
Zachary Hunt, 23, was initially charged with leaving the scene of a collision, driving under suspension and disregarding a stop sign, according to Lance Cpl. Sonny Collins with the South Carolina Highway Patrol. He was booked into the Marlboro County Detention Center. Hunt was later charged with reckless homicide.
Collins said the crash happened at the intersection of Ebenezer Road and Hickory Grove Road in Marlboro County.
Little's two sons, Ricky and Chonti Little, said their dad was finishing up his last route around noon on Wednesday. The driver ran a stop sign and hit a pickup truck, which then struck the school bus as it crossed the intersection.
There were no children on the bus at the time of the crash.
"Knowing yesterday that he didn't call me to see how I was doing and for me to get a phone call," said Ricky Little while fighting back tears.
Both sons say they are still in shock they won't see their dad ever again. He drove Marlboro County school buses for more than 15 years, and would come home every day with stories.
"I said, 'Dad, kids are going to be kids They will talk'. He said, 'My focus is I need them quiet so I can get them ... home safe,'" said Ricky Little.
Even after he retired he kept driving because of his love for the kids. Wallace Elementary Principal Janice Henson said he was always in charge, especially during Wednesday's early dismissal because of the severe weather.
"He said, 'This is how we will be releasing the children,' and he gave me all the orders and that will be the lasting memory. He was just always there," Henson said.
She worked with Little since he started as her custodian and says he would never leave her side.
"He was so committed to this school, to this community, to the children," said Henson
Both Little and Henson say the entire Wallace family will not be the same without Mr. Little.
"Just like he loved us, we're really going to miss him," said Ricky Little.