911 Tapes of Deadly Bus Crash Released

A reconstruction team returned Friday to the site of a bus crash that killed a high school student. Meantime, newly released 911 tapes give insight into what witnesses saw when they ran up to the crash scene to help.

Witnesses could hear the children screaming as they got close to the bus. A woman could be heard telling the dispatcher one child appeared to be dead.

Police say the driver of a gravel truck crossed the center line before crashing into a school bus in rural Pendleton County.

16-year-old student Daniel Wood died at the scene. 10 children between the ages of 5 and 16 and the drivers of both vehicles were taken to St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Grant County. They were all treated for minor injuries and have since then been released.

The accident happened along Highway 22 West at Ballinger Road between Falmouth and Williamstown.

An official with Pendleton County Schools says the bus was picking up children at the time of the crash.

The truck driver has been identified at Francisco Yulfo. He's been driving for XXL Trucking out of West Liberty for only a few weeks, but police say he does have prior experience with large trucks.

The bus was driven by Sue Simpson who is being described as an experienced driver. Police say she handled the situation as best she could and say she probably kept students from having more serious injuries.

Both drivers have been drug tested, which is standard after a crash.

Police say Yulfo is a Kentucky resident and has a valid license. They say they haven't ruled out the possibility of filing charges against him.

Wood, the student that died was said by both school officials and his friends to be "an outstanding person". The young man was well liked, and participated in ROTC at the school.

His best friend, Monaca Keeon, spoke to 27 NEWSFIRST about the young man.

"He was a great person, outstanding. If anyone was having a bad day, he was there no matter what. He would always know how to make you smile," she said.

AP Story
School Bus Involved In Crash, 1 Dead

FALMOUTH, Ky. (AP) - One person was killed and 12 were injured in an early morning crash Thursday involving a school bus and a dump truck along a winding road with hairpin curves in northern Kentucky, police said.

The collision occurred shortly after 7 a.m. EDT Thursday on Highway 22 in Pendleton County, a rural farmland area about 40 miles south of Cincinnati.

State police dispatcher Amy Wyatt said one person died in the crash, but she didn't know whether the victim was a student or an adult. State police did not immediately release details about what caused the crash.

Pendleton County Sheriff Craig Peoples said the accident happened on a curvy stretch of highway west of Falmouth.

"It is a very crooked road," Peoples said. "We have a lot of motorcycle accidents. We have dump trucks turn over at least once a year."

Although he did not give details on how the crash happened, he said the dump truck was hauling stones from a quarry in the nearby community of Butler and flipped over after the impact with the bus, losing its load on the highway and in a cattle pasture.

The bus had extensive damage to the driver's side - all the windows from a center door to the back of the bus had been ripped out and the roof was dented.

The accident happened near the home of Ronald and Julie Hess, who said they heard a thud and opened their door.

"I heard kids screaming," Julie Hess said.

Ronald Hess said he was the first person to arrive at the scene and brought the children into his home. "They were shaken up," he said.

Hess' uncle, Richard Hess, lives nearby and blamed the narrow roads for numerous accidents.

"The road is not wide enough for those trucks," Richard Hess said. "If we didn't get off the road for them, there would be more accidents."

He said trucks travel a 17-mile route along the road from the quarry to Interstate 75 every day.

Dawn Whiteford, the wife of the pastor at Short Creek Baptist Church, said people in the tight-knit community are in shock.

A dozen injured people, mostly children, were taken to St. Elizabeth Medical Center in nearby Grant County. Hospital spokeswoman Christa Moore said 10 children and both drivers were treated for what appears to be minor injuries.

Peoples said 11 elementary, middle and high school students were on the bus when the crash happened. Crisis counselors have sent to Pendleton County schools, he said.

Peoples said the drivers of both vehicles will undergo drug and alcohol screening, which is standard procedure.

----Associated Press Writer Bruce Schreiner in Louisville contributed to this report.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • by PJ Location: Eastern KY. on May 11, 2009 at 03:44 AM
    SEAT BELTS ON BUSES: What if the driver is critically injured? There are no adults on that bus...who will help the children out of those belts and off the bus?
  • by PJ Location: Eastern KY. on May 8, 2009 at 05:14 AM
    As a school bus driver, how am I going to get ALL 60 injured students out of their seat belts and off a burning bus? Seat belts on school buses will make me TRY to figure out which elementary child needs help and which ones don't. In the meantime...the bus is on FIRE!!! What's up? Think about your child belted in a burning bus?? AND...what if the belt jams LOCKED...I am assisting children on the opposite end of the bus! NO..NO...NO TO SEAT BELTS!
  • by Anonymous on Oct 27, 2008 at 01:30 PM
    this is horrible i wish their was somethisng i could do about this bad situation
  • by OVERLOOKED and DEFINITELY UNAPPRECIATED on Jun 25, 2008 at 08:30 PM
    Furthermore, Joanne D, the elimination of state employment positions brings an entire onslaught of horrors in itself !! No matter how it ends up, those that have the BEST interests of KY and KVE at heart wish for KVE to continue - not jus for their own jobs either. They want to see CMVs resulated and those regulations enforced as it has been done in the past. All we can do NOW is sit back and wait. he ONLY suggestion I could possibly give you is to make your opinion of KVE's future heard. Call, write, or e-mail your opinions to your legislators and the Governor and Lt. Governor. Obviously, since we are in a state of flux right now, I will not be posting anymore. However, I will keep checking if you want to correspond further. Rumors will abound awhile still.Thank you!! It has been very enjoyable and enlightening! It is not very often that I get to hear real opinions and appreciation/suppport for the job that we do there at the scales and on the roads. BE ALERT AND STAY SAFE OUT THERE !!
  • by OVERLOOKED and DEFINITELY UNAPPRECIATED on Jun 25, 2008 at 08:11 PM
    Joanne D, I apologize for not having checked back for the last few days. KVE is currently in a quandery with not having had another commissioner appointed and that the buzz about being eliminated is ALWAYS a possibility in government - especially when that government is BROKE !!I, nor anyone else, can make the claims that have been purported verified and nor can ANY of these same "in the know" people posting BE in the know since the ones that REALLY know are certainly NOT going to be posting anything they DO know. A decision has not been made yet as to who will be appointed, the future of KVE, or if KVE even HAS a future. KY is broke and Gov. Beshear is trying to bring the legilature around to better defeat this lack of monies. One good way WOULD be to end duplication of services, but that would also mean throwing away all the money and "assets" that KVE has. Also, the employees would have to be either tossed or reassigned. That aspect would be equally time and money consuming.
  • by Joanne D. Location: Eastern Kentucky on Jun 22, 2008 at 09:20 PM
    Am I to understand that this appointed commissioner for KVE has finally been fired? I checked a link that said he retired, but another comment said he was still in office. I've read other blogs that say KVE and KSP are joining together. Everyone seems to think this is a bad idea. You can tell these opinions are from KVE employees. All seem to say that this commissioner has done them wrong. Who polices these police leaders? To what authority do they answer to? If I’m the biggest bear in the woods, I don’t answer to anyone. I never trusted high level government officials because they do things that anyone else would get arrested for, but walk away scot-free. I just don't trust government. I would trust them a little bit if the TV news people were watching them ALL OF THE TIME, but not now. So what is really going on with KVE?
  • by OVERLOOKED and DEFINITELY UNAPPRECIATED on Jun 12, 2008 at 02:09 PM
    To "Joanne D", if you keep checking the other blogs, you will proof that gh IS outta here and that investigations are commencing on those who were part of gh's HUGE gaffs and coverups. Now it is merely a waiting game to find out exactly who Gov. Beshear appoints to replace him and how they will go about the restructuring of KVE. Who knows ?? Maybe Gov. Beshear might go in the MUCH better direction of ridding the state of 2 state police agancies and merge them as one or eliminate the politics of a commissioner and fo with the old KVE standard of a Colonel !! ONly time will tell. But DO keep checking the other blogs of interest and see the chatter that is going on NOW !!! It is getting pretty heated on some points and other points are being discussed in GREAT detail !! Some evben give the heritage of KVE through the past administrations and point out what I said about KVE STARTED as a division under KSP. Thank you !!! Keep posting PLEASE !!!
  • by OVERLOOKED and DEFINITELY UNAPPRECIATED on Jun 9, 2008 at 06:22 PM
    "JOANNE D", I apologize for that, even though that is not where I work. What you have to understand is that right now, KVE is in a swirl of motion about the "revoloving door" and it creates some chaos for a while. It WILL come around soon enough. gh IS GONE for all intents and purposes and taking a message is merely a formality that regular businesses use to not alarm clients and soforth. (a.k.a. saving face) Another has not yet been appointed, to my knowledge anyway. I will assume that the new one will be publicly announced and WKYT is usually the one that gets that kind of news out first. THERE IS YOUR PLUG, WKYT !! WE have given you PLENTY of fodder for political and governmental articles on this blog and the two blogs about State Police Crackdowns. So, PLEASE let US know who gets appointed first !!! "JOANN D" I wish I could help you much more quickly, but these embarrassments take time to clean up, demote, promote, and bring charges. Keep Calling/watching and you will find out!! TY
  • by Joanne D. Location: Eastern Ky. on Jun 9, 2008 at 04:16 AM
    I called that 800 number this past Friday. I got it off of one of those police cars in a parking lot. The lady I spoke with did not say your commissioner was no longer employed. She said he was out of the office and she could take a message. I declined to leave one.
  • by OVERLOOKED and DEFINITELY UNAPPRECIATED on Jun 7, 2008 at 01:43 AM
    "Joanne D", gh IS OUTTA HERE !!! WOO HOOOO!!!!! I believe that the next commissioner will be MUCH better since he/she will be appointed by a Democrat Governor. Beshear has been working hard to reverse the WRONGS committed by the fletcher regime; BUT IT TAKES TIME AND INVESTIGATION. THe first step has been taken to put KVE back on point - giving gh the BIG BOOT !!! However, more house cleaning still needs to be done. Once, WE have completed housekeeping, things WILL get better. So, YES, do call HQ with your concerns. 1-800-928-2402 or your regional post which the KVE website has listed with post commanders and phone numbers and also provides a tip line number and e-mail address. None of us wish to see an incident like this again either and are just as upset by this one as you. WE will NEED your support and assistance to get back where we were about 5 years ago before gh screwed evrything up. WE are all VERY excited to get back to our REAL job again and encourage public input. THANKS !


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