Just hearing the words “school bus accident” fills many with a sense of dread. Several children were hospitalized following a bus crash near Vernon late last week, but luckily none of the injuries were serious.
The accident occurred last Thursday afternoon at about 2:45 p.m. when the bus came to a stop on Highway 279 to allow kids off the bus. A Ford Aerostar van, which was reportedly driven by a teenager, collided with the rear of the bus.
According to ChipleyPaper.com, three children were taken to Doctor’s Memorial Hospital in Bonifay, while five were sent to Northwest Florida Community Hospital in Chipley. All were thought to have minor, non-life-threatening injuries. Most of them were seen quickly and released soon after.
An interim transportation director for the Washington County School District says that the van hit the bus on the bumper, bending it under. Damage to the bus was estimated at $2,000, while the van was likely undriveable after the crash.
The Florida Highway Patrol responded to the crash, ChiplePaper.com reports. It’s not clear when or if the bus would be returned to service. It was pulled from service so it could be inspected following the accident.
It’s lucky that none of the children were hurt more seriously, and that no occupants of the van were injured. If the van had been traveling at a higher rate of speed, the crash could have been much worse.
Buses are typically one of the safest ways to transport children to and from school.
Source: ChipleyPaper.com, “Van strikes Vernon school bus,” Randal Seyler, Feb. 24, 2012