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Buckeye Local bus crash leads to injuries

RAYLAND — A bus loaded with Buckeye Local School District students was involved in a head-on crash with another vehicle early Thursday.

None of the students were badly injured, but many were shaken, investigators said.

Law enforcement and emergency services personnel from Rayland, Tiltonsville, Dillonvale, Wells Township, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department and the Ohio State Highway Patrol responded to the crash site in the Rayland area.

“I got the call at 7:14 a.m. of a pickup truck vs. a school bus at County Road 15,” highway patrol Trooper Josh O’Donnell said. “Prior to my arrival there was a van partially parked on the roadway. The (westbound) pickup truck topped the hill and swerved to avoid … striking the van that was parked on the road, and struck the school bus head-on in the eastbound lanes.”

There were about a dozen students aboard the bus.

“They were still sitting on the bus when I got there until EMS arrived and checked them out and the parents were contacted,” he said.

“There were 13 students on the bus, and 12 of the 13 I would say sustained minor injuries,” O’Donnell said. “We only had one of the students transported by squad, and the rest of the parents came and picked them up and took them to the hospital for evaluation.”

O’Donnell said charges likely will be filed on the driver of the van and the driver who struck the bus.

“We haven’t talked to everybody, so right now it’s still under investigation,” O’Donnell said. “The other driver that struck the bus is a juvenile as well.”

O’Donnell said that driver was transported to UPMC Children’s Hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

He said the road was shut down for close to two hours.

Buckeye Local Superintendent Kim Leonard released a statement on the district’s Facebook page: “As many of you are aware, one of our buses was in an accident this morning on County Road 15. Multiple students were transported with minor injuries as a precaution. Despite the appearance of the bus, the driver was not injured. She did a phenomenal job keeping the bus and her students safe and calm until emergency medical personnel arrived. The driver and the students knew exactly what to do in this situation as a result of practicing bus safety every single year.

“Thank you to all the local EMT for your quick response and parents who were able to arrive so quickly to attend to your child. We appreciate everyone’s help this morning with a situation that could have been much worse. I’m sure these students and the bus driver will be a little sore tomorrow as well as shaken up by the entire ordeal. All of us at Buckeye Local keep you in our prayers and wish you a speedy recovery.”

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