KY Home To Two Deadliest Bus Crashes In U.S. History

Kentucky has been the site of the two deadliest school bus crashes in U.S. History. In fact, we're just two weeks from the 20th anniversary of the Carrollton bus crash that claimed 27 lives.

That crash happened when a drunk driver hit a bus carrying a group returning from a trip to King's Island. It happened in Carrollton on May 14th, 1988.

The drunk driver responsible, Larry Mahoney, was convicted of manslaughter and served nine years in prison. He's since been released.

It's been 50 years since an eastern Kentucky school bus crash that killed 26 students and the driver.

That bus went off a Floyd County road and plunged 60 feet into the Big Sandy River on the morning of February 28th, 1958. The cause remains a mystery, 21 people did survive.

No criminal charges or lawsuits were ever filed in that case.

The Department of Education says the last known school bus related death within the past four years happened in western Kentucky. An elementary school student there was thrown from the bush when it rolled over.

There have been between 30 and 40 deaths since 1960, most of those, according to the Department of Education, happened outside the bus, like a student getting on or off the bus and being hit by another vehicle.

The Department of Education says after an accident of any type, it sends a team to investigate. One will go to Pendleton County to look into whether or not the driver's route was familiar, if the bus properly inspected and if the driver was properly trained.


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  • by Kelly Location: Nicholasville on May 2, 2008 at 02:58 PM
    Myself the bus crash that happend here in kentucky yesterday would not have happend if the road's was wider and a place to get over to the left of them if someone is acrossed the center line. Instead there is nothing to get away from others unless you want to go down in a ditch or a huge hill where you may be killed anyway so really there not wide enough for two large vehical to pass each other with out one or the other hitting the other GOD BLESS THE FAMILY FOR THERE LOSE I FILL THERE PAIN AND MY HEART GOES OUT TO THEM. I HAVE LOST A CHILD MYSELF ITS VERY TOUGH TO LIVE WITH. GOD WILL HELP YOU THROUGH IT IF YOU BELEAVE AND TRUST IN HIM EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON EVEN THOUGH WE DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY WE MUST NOT ASK WHY AND GO ON AS ARE FAMILY AND KIDS WOULD WANT US TO. AGAIN GOD BLESS THE FAMILYS THAT HAVE LOST A LOVE ONE
  • by Fred Location: Easterm Lu/ on May 2, 2008 at 07:37 AM
    I drive a bus for the state of Kentucky. I am very near the Floyd Co. District and know some of the people who drive there. If that bus was equipped with seat belts when it went into the river, how many do you think would have survived. An educated guess would be fewer would come out. If you put pressure on a belt, it is hard to impossible to release. Despite this, how many students do you believe would buckle them and keep them on? I know as a kid growing up, I wouldn't. As far as to if there were belts on the bus, would this young man have died. I don't know. I seriously doubt it. If you look at the photo that I did, it wouldn't have made any difference. The damage was from the middle door back, taking out the windows. An accident such as this is done so quick that you don't have time to react. My heart and prayers goes out to the family that lost that child and to the driver. A driver has a tremendous responsibility and with the grace of god he will get them there safely.
  • by Angie Location: Russell, ky on May 2, 2008 at 06:18 AM
    Maybe we should focus on one lane and NARROW roads as a culprit. All one has to do is drive some "country" roads, imagine driving a school bus w/children. Whole new perspective. These roads need widened and some straightened. No one is ever prepared when hit by a dump truck, all the training in the world couldn't change the outcome. My Prayers go out to the family. God Bless.
  • by gail Location: winchester on May 2, 2008 at 05:08 AM
    You know it is beyond me why a state that mandates that an individual has to have car insurance and must buckle up and have a child or children in car safety seats and bucked in and they don't mandate that a school bus that takes our children to and from school each day does not have to have seat belts to help protect those children. If it is against the law for us then the school buses should be fitted as well. Maybe the young man that just lost his life would not have lost his life had there been a seat belt! Maybe that is something our Governor needs to look into for our buses. He seems so worried about raising tuition and taking money from school programs and trying to push his casino's. Why don't you start doing something proactive like that govenor and earn your trust from the people of the state.
  • by Adam Location: Corbin on May 1, 2008 at 02:18 PM
    Ironically, Today there was another school bus crash that killed a student. God bless those involved as well as all of the families of those from the other crashes.
  • by Donald Location: Fairborn,Ohio on May 1, 2008 at 11:30 AM
    I just wonted to thnak you for keeping the story of the 1958 school bus alive. I had cousin's that were lost on that bus in Floyd County in 1958. It was a sad time. You never hear the story of the one that went over the hill at the Carr Creek High school. My Uncle Earl Amburgey was on that bus. I think that was in the late 30's or 40's.

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