A school bus collided with a car on the afternoon of Friday, Oct. 17, 2014, leaving six people hurt. The bus was packed full of 50 elementary-school students en route back home to Okawville, IL from the Butterfly House in Chesterfield, MO, where they had traveled for a school field trip. Most of the students on board the bus at the time of the crash were between seven and eight years of age and in the second grade.
The bus driver declined offers of medical treatment by paramedics on scene, but five of the six injured students were taken to area hospitals following the collision. One student was reportedly collected by a parent following the accident, and it is not known whether the parent took the student to the hospital or back home. There is no word as to whether the driver of the car that hit the bus was injured in the collision.
The bus driver claims that the vehicle which hit the bus crossed over the line into the bus’ lane, smashing into the front fender of the bus on the left-hand side. The bus was traveling along Interstate 64 near Compton Avenue when the car allegedly attempted to merge onto the freeway and hit the bus.
All injuries sustained in the crash were reported to be minor, and all injured students are expected to be released from the hospital to their parents’ care in short order. It is unclear how extensive the property damage was to either the bus or the vehicle that hit it. There is no word yet as to whether charges will be filed as a result of this collision.
According to statistics released by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 918 traffic accidents involved a school bus in the year of 2011, with 320 people being injured in those crashes, and one fatality. Although rare—comprising only .7 percent of all traffic accidents in 2011—school bus accidents are particularly troubling because of the number of passengers usually on board, as well as the young ages of those passengers. Some citizens feel that making the wearing of seat belts mandatory on school buses may reduce the number of people who are injured in traffic accidents involving a school bus.