School Bus Crash Sends Three To Hospital

The bus had more than 40 kids on board, and it was just a mile from its first stop to let the youngest children off at Sublimity Elementary, when officials say something caused the driver to lose control and hit a utility pole so hard, it snapped it in half.

“I heard this sound, sounded like a bomb went off in my house,” said Gary Messer, who called for help when he heard the bus hit the pole.

“Well it was just awful, you know a bus load of kids, that's all I was thinking. I went and called 911, as quick as I could,” he said.

Police say the reason the veteran driver lost control and side swiped the utility pole is under investigation. 2 high school students and a middle school student were sent to the hospital. One had glass in the eye, the other complained of back pain. Police won't release the driver's name or age, but school officials credit her with averting a near disaster.

“To her credit, the driver was able to, even with the impact to the pole, to be able to maintain be able to bring it to a safe stop,” said Greg Smith, Laurel County Schools’ Deputy Superintendent.

Deavon Poindexter's daughter was also on the bus.

“She said she was on the front of the bus, the bus was tipping, she thought it was going to flip over,” said Poindexter of her daughter, who she says now is complaining of leg pain.

Poindexter says she's complained about the driver before, from stories her daughter has told her.

“Just several things, she's run into ditches, she says, ‘Mom, she almost hit another car today,’” said Poindexter.

But the deputy superintendent says he’s not aware of any complaints against the driver.

School officials say the driver will be off until the investigation is over, which they say is standard procedure.

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  • by Location: London on Dec 11, 2008 at 07:14 PM
    I know that road. I also know that some of the bus drivers do go too fast on any of this county's roads, as do other vehicles. I know that the superintendent's office is not informed of all of the complaints that parents have about the bus drivers. The complaints are called in and it ends at that. Our county does have alot of very good bus drivers. I just wish that the complaints would be investigated and the children questioned by school officials when such things are said about the drivers. But trust me, they aren't.
  • by Anonymous Location: clark county on Dec 11, 2008 at 07:13 PM
    To the lady from Clark County, I would love to try and guess which driver you have issues with, because I too live in Clark County and have made several complaint to the ... trying to think of appropriate the bus garage only to have no phone call returned and nothing done with the driver...but you know when something happens to one of my kids, sh** will hit the fan!!!!!!!!
  • by momxfive Location: Harrodsburg on Dec 11, 2008 at 06:28 AM
    As a former bus driver I know the dangers and the stress of handling a bus and the kids. As a parent and former driver some of these kids are totally out of control. My daughter was knocked out on a bus last year, when two other kids got into a fight. It is very easy on these narrow roads to lose control while trying to keep an eye on those that are causing problems. I drive my kids to school myself now, it's just what works for me personally. I guess what I'm trying to say is, this is not an easy job. Edith is right, I had the same training, are not just hired and handed keys to a bus.
  • by viewer on Dec 11, 2008 at 05:12 AM
    alf grammer police struck again let alf alone he a least wrote about the subject
  • by Shirl Location: London on Dec 10, 2008 at 07:48 PM
    The place this accident happened is the very spot that a car ran me off the road a few years ago. It needs to be widened. Thank God it wasn't worse. Get off the drivers back and use your voice to petition for road improvements.
  • by GRUMPY on Dec 10, 2008 at 03:46 PM
  • by Doug Location: London on Dec 10, 2008 at 01:27 PM
    Maybe some of you more perfect drivers would like to get you a job hauling these BRATS to school and back every day. BRATS that are spoiled rotten by you the parent. All this on a paycheck that most of you would laugh at. All the while driving the big yellow bus on roads that are way to narrow and putting up with car and pickups that are in way too big a hurry. Slow down aroun our busses and let them hve the right of way. They are out on a misson, to get our childern to school and back as quickly as possible. Some of you complainers are probly the very ones who crowd our buses and run them off the roads and cause thes crashes in the first place. Also look at the number of wrecks verses the miles driven per year and I believe you will find the odds very low. Also the media jumps all over these in the first place and makes it seem like is happens all the time.
  • by Edith Location: KY on Dec 10, 2008 at 09:41 AM
    I used to drive a bus...drove for 12 years. I wish to tell those who say "hire good drivers" that in our district, you went through a very stringent application process, including a background check, and a detailed check of your driving record. That was before you got into class. Then there was a week of training (classroom) by a DOT instructer, and 20 hours of practice time with instructor. After that, you went and took a driver's test for the bus, including a pretrip inspection (which has to be done every day on a bus route). And yes, we had to parallel park that big yellow bus. Please do not say that school systems do not try to hire "good" bus drivers. They do. And I agree that parents should have to take a couple of trips on the buss with kids on there to see what all the driver has to take care of on any given day. You would be surprised at what all a 'mere' school bus driver is responsible for on a daily basis. Thanks for letting me have my say.
  • by Kendal Location: Lexington on Dec 10, 2008 at 09:08 AM
    Sounds like the complaining mother wants some lawsuit money. I say way to go to the driver, you likely saved several lives. I am sure it could have been much worse. Perhaps complaining mother would like to put herself into the driver's shoes and drive a bus full of kids around and NEVER become distracted! Give the driver a break!
  • by Viewer2 Location: Clark County on Dec 10, 2008 at 07:51 AM
    Although I am sure every county has good driver's as well as bad driver's, I have to agree with "viewer." I live on a two lane but narrow county road and the bus driver who runs that route, in my opinion, is not a very good driver. I have seen her stopped in the middle of a road waiting for others to pass before driving down a hill (which is OK because obviously she is not comfortable) but when I meet her on other areas of the road, she is driving way too fast and will not share the road. I drive a smaller car and I usually have to get in the ditch because she will not share the road. But as I said, I am sure there are good driver's out there too. I am not judging the driver in this accident because I do not have enough information and it is not my place. I am very thankful there were no more injuries than there were and wish a speedy recovery to those who were hurt.
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