2 killed in crash involving school buses

Posted on August 5, 2010

GRAY SUMMIT, Mo. — State troopers have reported that a student and the driver of a pickup truck were fatally injured in a chain-reaction highway accident today involving a tractor trailer cab, two school buses and the truck.

The buses were taking high school band members to a Six Flags amusement park when the collision occurred, The Associated Press (AP) reports.

The pickup truck slammed into the back of the tractor, which had slowed for traffic near a construction zone. The bus that was carrying the girl who was killed then struck the pickup from behind and was rear-ended by the other school bus.

Highway Patrol Cpl. Jeff Wilson told the AP that the driver of the first bus had moved into the passing lane to give a distressed vehicle in the shoulder more room. She was checking her rearview mirror while returning to the right-hand lane when she noticed the first impact but could not stop in time, hitting the pickup. The second bus then rear-ended the first, vaulting the first bus onto the top of the pickup, which was crushed.

Joy Tucker, superintendent of the St. James School District, said the town was devastated.

"It's been a horrible, horrible day in our community, and we'll never get over this," Tucker told the AP.

Dozens of other children were injured during the accident and were taken to area hospitals, but their injuries are not considered to be life-threatening.

A statement on the district's Website asks people to keep the children and their families in their thoughts and prayers.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has launched a go-team to investigate the accident. NTSB board member Christopher Hart is accompanying the team and will serve as the on-scene spokesman. Senior Highway Investigator Peter Kotowski has been designated as the investigator-in-charge. Public Affairs Officer Terry Williams is accompanying the team, which is expected to arrive on scene this evening.

Related Topics: fatalities, school bus crash

Comments ( 10 )
  • Daniel

     | about 7 years ago

    PRECIOUS CARGO: The common denominator here seems to be FOLLOWING TOO CLOSE, FOLLOWING TOO CLOSE AND FOLLOWING TOO CLOSE. Do you think it was the first time they've followed too close? As someone wrote earlier, the Smith System Training is the key to prevention. However, if you only stick the drivers in a classroom and show them a video on the Smith System as is done with the company I recently worked for as a driver, it's not effective enough to achieve the goals of your safety plan. Yeah they can recite the 5 Keys, but ask them what the 5 Keys really mean from behind the wheel. And think of the huge amount of money your company paid for Smith System training. When it's time for bus evacuation drills does your school stick the students in an assembly and just show them a video and that's it? A Location Manager said to me, "You make us look really good!" Another Manager said, "I feel good knowing he's out there." During my tenure with RSTS every one of the drivers in my region were trained in "Smith System" behind the wheel. As a result, we, not I, achieved one of the lowest region crash rates in the company. Additionally, you must have on-the-road observations in your region "every single school day of the year" by someone specifically dedicated to this position on a full-time basis. When the drivers know you are out there and visible the purpose is two-fold, immediate support for any type of problem or event and the eyes and ears of what is taking place out there every day. Approached properly this method is proven to work and reduce crashes. I know, because I've done it. During my semi-retirement I drove a School Bus for 4 years and no-one from the company ever followed my bus or for that matter followed any driver. Yes, the drivers had an on-board observation yearly and that was it. We can also drag a 100lb dummy across the parking lot. What is your priority? Essentially you MUST have an experienced and trained observer in this position at a regional level wh

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