INDIANAPOLIS — No mechanical issues were found in a tragic accident here on Tuesday, in which a beloved school principal was killed and two students were seriously injured when a school bus hit them.
At around 2:45 p.m. Susan Jordan, the principal of Amy Beverland Elementary School, was supervising the school’s dismissal and standing with a group of students when a stationary bus, which had a driver and about two dozen students aboard, suddenly accelerated and jumped the curb, NBC News reports. Two 10-year old students were also hit by the bus and listed as being in serious but stable condition on Tuesday night.
The bus driver, who was the normal driver for that route, was not injured, according to WTHR. She told the news source that as soon as the accident happened, Jordan pushed children out of the way before getting struck by the bus herself.
A preliminary investigation into the incident shows that the bus that hit Jordan had suddenly moved forward onto the curb “for some unknown reason,” Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Sgt. Kendale Adams told IndyStar. The bus was parked with other buses that had arrived to pick up students. District officials told IndyStar that the driver had no history of discipline problems or moving violations and was considered a "model employee."
IMPD Lt. Rick Riddle told IndyStar that there was no evidence at the scene that indicated that the bus driver was impaired. Adams added that investigators who inspected the bus did not find any mechanical problems.
Jordan had been principal of the elementary school for over 20 years, according to a biography of Jordan posted on the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township's website. Shawn A. Smith, superintendent of the Lawrence Township Schools, called Jordan a "legend" at a Tuesday news conference at the school, according to IndyStar.
The school district canceled classes on Wednesday to mourn Jordan’s death, and provided a list of locations where emotional support for staff members and families would be available.
The board of education released a statement on Tuesday about Jordan’s death, expressing its condolences to the family and school community.
“Susan was an amazing educator,” the statement read. “She had a remarkable way of making everyone she came in contact with feel valued and important. She had a passion for children that is unmatched. The entire Lawrence Township Community mourns her loss and extends our sympathy to the Amy Beverland Community [and] the multitudes of people whose lives she touched.”
Teachers and students had created a thank you video for Jordan last May. Students hold up signs that describe Jordan as "friendly," "smart" and "inspirational."
Meanwhile, Gov. Mike Pence visited Amy Beverland Elementary on Wednesday and tweeted to his followers, “Please keep the students, faculty & entire community in your prayers.”
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