LEBANON, Mo. – A Lebanon school bus carrying 35 students was struck by a PT Cruiser that ran a stop sign at Pierce and Jackson Street this morning.
Seven of the students were taken to hospital for evaluation of minor injuries.
“Two bus riders were transported by ambulance to Mercy Hospital and five additional students were also transported by school officials to be evaluated,” Assistant Superintendent of Quality Learning and Experiences Dr. Holly Schrage said. “Throughout the morning, additional students were transported by their parents and guardians at their choice to be evaluated.”
Lebanon Police Sgt. Angie Springer told KOLR 10 the accident occurred shortly after 7 a.m. when the 16-year-old driver of the eastbound Cruiser ran the stop sign and struck the northbound bus. The passenger in the vehicle was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
“I was talking to my friend and I just felt jerking back and forth and it was just crazy,” Lebanon High School Junior Kyla Caudill said. She was on the bus when it crashed. “I remember hitting whenever we hit the curb, we flew up and it felt like we were going to flip. Then we hit the ditch. I was in shock and didn’t know what happened”
Caudill said this was the first time she was involved in any sort of car crash. She was one of the seven students that went to the hospital.
“I hit my arm on the seat and it’s bruised,” Caudill said. “I hit my face whenever we flew forward. My neck is very sore and my shoulder. My lower back is really messed up.”
Caudill’s mom ended up meeting her at the hospital.
“She called me and I was half asleep and she said, Um, we have a bus crash,” Caudill’s mom Brittany DeGraw said. “I was like, What? A bus crash? She’s like, Yeah, Mom. Like, we’re [in a[ crash. Like, ambulances are coming.”
DeGraw said they were at the hospital for about an hour. Caudill will go back to school tomorrow, but she said she is hesitant to get back on the bus.
” You feel such impact and everyone’s moving around and being thrown around and it’s just so scary,” Caudill said.
Students, parents, and the district are happy everyone is OK.
” We just take every precaution to make sure the well-being of our students are our priority,” Schrage said. “We were very fortunate that none of our bus riders at this time have sustained serious injuries in these types of situations.”
The 76-year-old bus driver was unable to stop to avoid the crash, Springer said. The district was not able to confirm if the two in the other car were students.