SCPS has second bus accident in past month

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No serious injuries reported

By Todd Martin

By Todd Martin and Lisa King

A Shelby County Public Schools bus accident on Hempridge Road on Wednesday afternoon sent five students to Jewish Hospital Shelbyville.

No cause has been given for the accident, but witnesses said that bus No. 1294 slid off of the road and went through a fence, hitting some mailboxes.

Shelby County Public Schools Superintendent James Neihof said the EMS staff reported no major injuries to the students.

“But our policy is. if they say if anything hurts, we transport them, unless the parents say not to,” he said. “But according to the EMTs there doesn’t appear to be anything serious.”

Shelby County Sheriff's Deputy Shawn Cresap said that the bus ran off the right hand side of the road, and when the bus returned to the pavement, the driver overcorrected, and the bus veered off the left side of the road and into a muddy field. The bus traveled about 40 feet, plowing down three or four fence posts and a wire fence in the process, before coming to a stop.

Ralph and Theresa Atha were in their home at 1230 Hempridge Road.

"I heard tires screeching, and when I went outside, there it [bus] was in the field," Ralph Atha said.

Said his wife: “Thank goodness no one was hurt.”

This is the second bus accident in less than two week, which is pretty unusual Neihof said.

“It is a little odd to have two this close together,” he said. “I’m not exactly sure of the details with this accident yet, but there have been years where we’ve gone the entire school year without a [chargeable] accident.”

He was referring to an accident where the school district was at fault.

“But I don’t know that we’ve ever gone a year without a bus bumping something or something bumping a bus,” he added.

The bus sustained some minor damage and was towed back to the bus compound.

Cresap said that a few parents came to the scene and took children home, but the majority of students were transferred to another bus that continued on its route.