PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WKYT) - It is one of the two deadliest school bus crashes in American history, and it happened Feb. 28, 1958.
The Kentucky National Guard says the Floyd County school bus filled with 48 children and the driver was traveling on U.S. Highway 23 when it hit the rear of a wrecker truck.
The collision caused the bus to go down an embankment and into the Big Sandy River. The bus traveled downstream before submerging.
22 children were able to escape the bus and survive, while 26 students and the bus driver drowned.
Navy divers eventually spotted the vehicle and crews removed the bus from the river more than two days after the wreck. The Kentucky National Guard worked during the 69-day recovery operation to find the victims.
The 1988 Carrollton, Kentucky school bus disaster tied the Prestonsburg disaster for the deadliest in U.S. history.
The 1963 Chualar, California bus crash involving migrant farm workers (32) and the 1970 Martinez, California charter bus disaster are the only two bus crashes that have claimed more lives in the United States.