KHP: 22 sixth-grade Pembroke Hill School girls injured in crash - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

KHP: 22 sixth-grade Pembroke Hill School girls injured after bus rollover

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Authorities said a school bus carrying sixth-grade girls from Pembroke Hill overturned on southbound Kansas Highway 7 and multiple students and the driver were injured. Authorities said a school bus carrying sixth-grade girls from Pembroke Hill overturned on southbound Kansas Highway 7 and multiple students and the driver were injured.
When Chopper 5 arrived on scene students appeared to already be off the bus and were seen sitting in the grass nearby. When Chopper 5 arrived on scene students appeared to already be off the bus and were seen sitting in the grass nearby.
The Kansas Highway Patrol said the wreck occurred just before 1 p.m. near Kansas Highway 32. The school bus is seen laying on its side in the grass just off the roadway. The Kansas Highway Patrol said the wreck occurred just before 1 p.m. near Kansas Highway 32. The school bus is seen laying on its side in the grass just off the roadway.
BONNER SPRINGS, KS (KCTV) -

Authorities said a school bus carrying sixth-grade girls from Pembroke Hill overturned on southbound Kansas Highway 7 and multiple students and the driver were injured.

The Kansas Highway Patrol said the wreck occurred just before 1 p.m. near Kansas Highway 32.

Highway patrol said 36 sixth-graders from Pembroke Hill and a driver were on board when the driver took a turn on the ramp too quickly. Trooper Howard Dickinson said it was a single bus wreck, and the bus slid off of Highway 7 and rolled down an embankment.

The driver, Elmer Scott Jr., 66, of Kansas City, applied the brakes and tried unsuccessfully get back onto the road, according to a Kansas City Highway Patrol.

Once the vehicle overturned, motorists and others rushed to the bus.

A massive effort consisting of officials from Lenexa police, KHP, Bonner Springs police, all neighboring agencies and EMS technicians quickly responded to the scene.

"The back wheels got close to the edge and slid, and they rolled and it turned. It had to be God with them on that bus," witness Marvin Cawthon said. "I couldn't believe it. And then I saw the kids, and I saw everyone beating on the doors as they were trying to get out."

Good Samaritans and first responders converged on the bus and started getting the girls out.

"They got the back door open and they were able to pull them out, one by one. They were real quick with them, getting them out of there," Cawthon said.

A 40-year-old woman was on board chaperoning the students, and she was not injured. Altogether, 22 girls ages 11 and 12 years old were injured, according to the KHP report.

People who work in the area said it's not uncommon for vehicles to take the curve too quickly, but highway patrol said it's still too early to say what caused the crash.

"A lot times maybe when the weather is slick or rainy. I don't know if people take that corner too quick, but it is not unusual to see a car slide off of that ramp," Vivica Ballew said.

Durham School Services, who operate the bus, said they are working with highway patrol to determine the cause.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by this accident including our driver. Safety is Durham's top priority and we are taking every step necessary to ensure that this accident is investigated and responded to appropriately."

Scott was trapped and had to be extricated. He and the students were taken to either Providence Medical Center, Overland Park Regional Medical Center, University of Kansas Hospital and Children's Mercy Hospital with minor injuries.

Scott is in serious but stable condition at Overland Park Regional. Highway patrol indicates that the bus driver was not wearing a safety restraint.

The southbound ramp was closed until 3:45 p.m.

Bonner Springs police said a bus carrying sixth-grade boys was following the first bus, but it wasn't involved in the wreck in any way.

An administrator who works in the school's admissions office said the sixth-graders were heading to a camp out at Tall Oaks in Linwood, KS. The area is a camp, retreat center and conference center.

Students who weren't injured were taken to Bonner Springs High School, located at 100 N. McDaniel St., to meet their parents. The field trip was canceled after the crash.

In order to pick up their child, parents had to present identification to state troopers so they could match it up with the respective children, who were waiting in the school's cafeteria.

Parents said even though these students weren't injured, it was just as nerve-wracking. One father said he had a difficult time driving past the accident scene, seeing the bus on its side and then trying to get to the high school to see his son.

School for students at Bonner Springs High was going on as normal when the Pembroke Hill students were brought in. Staff did everything they could to make the sixth-graders as comfortable as possible.

"They were really amazing from talking to everybody, they brought out drinks for the kids, they took good care of them, they got them all calmed down, they did a wonderful job of handling the kids. These were all sixth-graders, an entire bus load of girls. They were very, very upset and we did the best job. In fact we spent a lot of time at the scene just trying to calm them down," Dickinson said.

KCTV5's Greg Milota, Amy Anderson, DeAnn Smith, Dave Jordan and Chris Oberholtz contributed to this report.

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