In Ohio, Fatal Bus Crash Shatters First Day of School

Child died after being ejected; dozens of others were injured, 1 seriously
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2023 10:41 AM CDT
Bus Crash Leaves Child Dead, Another Fighting for Life
Authorities work on the scene of a bus crash in Lawrenceville, Ohio, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023.   (Bill Lackey/The Springfield News-Sun via AP)

A minivan collided with a school bus setting out on the first day of school Tuesday in Ohio, sending the bus off the roadway, where it overturned, leaving a child dead. The elementary school student from the Northwestern Local School District was ejected from the bus, which was carrying a total of 52 children, and pronounced dead at the scene along state Route 41 near Springfield, per WLWT. A second child was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. Another 22 child passengers were taken to hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries, along with the 35-year-old driver of the van and a 37-year-old passenger, per NBC News. The 68-year-old bus driver suffered only minor injuries, authorities said.

Sgt. Tyler Ross of Ohio State Highway Patrol said a 2010 Honda Odyssey was traveling eastbound, in the opposite direction of the bus, when it "went left of center into the lane of the school bus" around 8:16am. The school bus, which did not have seatbelts and was not required to under state law, "attempted to take evasive action and drive onto the shoulder but they still made contact. After contact, the school bus traveled off the right side of the roadway and overturned," Ross said. Photos showed the bus laying on its side a short distance from the roadway. Ross said the van also traveled off the right side of the roadway. The crash remains under investigation.

A mother of a child who was on the bus tells WLWT that the kids had been excited for the first day of school but "they didn't even make it down the road." Her daughter, who is in third grade, said "a van hit us ... then, next thing we knew, we were upside down" and "everyone was screaming and crying," according to the mother. "They're all going to be traumatized," she said. Classes were canceled Wednesday across the school district, though grief counselors were available "for anyone who needs additional support during this tragedy," the district said. "Our hearts and prayers go out to the families that have been impacted by this tragedy," it noted. (More bus crash stories.)

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