Eight students injured in crash involving school bus

Louisville, KY - By Matt McCutcheon - e-mail | bio

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Eight students and one adult were rushed to the hospital early Thursday morning after a JCPS bus and car collided.

It all happened on the city's north end, not far from The Summit at the intersection of Ballardsville Road and Worthington Place Drive along Highway 22, also known as Brownsboro Road.

Thirty-four students were headed to Kammerer Middle School on JCPS bus #0168 when it struck a silver Pontiac Grand Am just before 7 a.m.

Officials say the bus was westbound on Highway 22 and the driver of the Pontiac was turning left onto Highway 22 when the bus struck it in the rear.

"All the kids were shaken up and were upset," said parent Latyra Causby.

The ride to school turned into a real-life emergency lesson as kids one-by-one climbed out of the school bus emergency exit and nearly a dozen were taken away on stretchers.

"You have 100 things running through your mind," said parent Keba Hardnett.

Parents raced to the scene to find out what happened.  Officials say the driver of a silver Pontiac Grand AM apparently pulled out in front of the bus.

"My heart just dropped because I saw the lady's car and it was just smashed in on one side so that just sent my level of panic up one more notch," Hardnett said.

Ambulances rushed to the scene the seconds after the crash happened, with 8 of the kids being taken to Kosair Children's Hospital Brownsboro Campus, which fortunately sits just a little more than a mile away from the actual crash site.

All eight students suffered minor injuries, and most were released just a few hours later.

"I could feel it when he stopped really hard," said sixth grader Siaani Jefferson.

"I was talking to my friend and all the only thing I saw was when he slammed on the break and I saw the car fly back," said sixth grader Myasia Blake.

"When the bus driver slammed on the brake, I went up and hit my face on the seat. I was really scared and me and my friend were like kind of panicking and crying and scared. We didn't know what was going on," said sixth grader Leaejah Rucker.

The driver of the Pontiac was also injured.

"She was taken to Suburban Hospital complaining of some neck injuries again probably for observation from the jar," said Jim Engler, JCPS Assistant Director of Vehicle Maintenance.

While parents are relieved that no one was seriously hurt, they want lawmakers to make things click on the bus.

"They need seatbelts because that would have probably stopped half the kids from flying forward had there been seatbelts on the bus," Hardnett said.

Police and JCPS are still investigating the crash and who's at fault.  District officials tell WAVE 3 News that the bus driver just started driving for the district in August of this year.

Doctor's suggested that the kids who were taken to the hospital take it easy after being tossed around, but one of the students really wanted to go to school to keep up her perfect attendance record.

As bad as the car was damaged, the bus just needs a new front bumper.

Police are also investigating if any charges will be filed in this case.

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