UPDATE: Nine Children Hurt in Mason County School Bus Accident, Semi Driver Cited

By: WSAZ News Staff; Brad Myers Email
By: WSAZ News Staff; Brad Myers Email
Dispatchers tell WSAZ.com that none of the children are seriously hurt.

(WSAZ Photo / John Green)

UPDATE 8/26/14 @ 5:30 p.m.
MASON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- It's one of the worst fears a parent can have: hearing their child is involved in a school bus crash. That was the case for dozens of parents following a chain-reaction crash Tuesday on U.S. Route 35 in Mason County.

Emergency officials say it all started when a school bus stopped to pick up a student. A tractor-trailer behind the bus also stopped, but another semi driver didn't hit the brakes in time.

"{The driver} told us he had just looked down for a second," West Virginia Department of Transportation Emergency Operations Chief Chuck Runyon said. "When he raised up, all he saw was the back of the truck and the wood, and he locked his brakes up. He skidded enough to bust tires when he was sliding."

The force of the crash sent the first semi crashing into the school bus, which had 19 students on board.

"Especially when you hear a bus and a semi," Mason County EMS Operations Chief Karen Jones said, "yeah, you worry. Anytime that there's children involved, that's the last thing we want to hear."

Despite there being no life-threatening injuries, emergency responders say they were prepared. A big reason why was their mass casualty plan, which quickly routed more than a dozen ambulances to the area.

"We were able to accomplish a feat that's probably not even considered abnormal," Mason County EMS Director Chuck Blake said. "It was just a gigantic effort having that many patients. We had to deal with the mommies and daddies and grandmas and grandpas of the children involved, and we knew that was going to be a monumental task."

Pleasant Valley Hospital also went into emergency mode. Officials activated their "Code White" disaster plan to deal with crash victims.

"This was not a drill," Pleasant Valley Emergency Room Director and Trauma Program Melody Hill said. "This was the real thing. We set up our own command center in the emergency room. We were told up front that we were going to get 18-20 passengers from the school bus. We didn't quite get that many, but we were prepared."

In the end, officials say having a plan in place helped make sure everyone was safe, including all of the children involved.

"It was flawless," Blake said. "I want the people of Mason County to know that the Mason County school board, their local hospitals, their local EMS and fire agencies all did a great job in handling this mass casualty incident, and we are prepared."

The driver of the tractor-trailer, Benjamin Charles Marshal, 28, was cited for driving too fast for roadway conditions and failure to maintain control, according to the Mason County Sheriff's Department. The crash is still under investigation.



UPDATE 8/26/14 @ 1:30 p.m.
MASON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A driver has been cited after an accident involving a school bus early Tuesday morning in Mason County.

The crash was reported just before 7:30 a.m. Tuesday on Route 35 near Cornstalk Road.

Mason County Sheriff's Deputies say the school bus stopped in the northbound lane to pick up children for school. A tractor trailer stopped behind the bus and was then hit by a tractor trailer, causing the stopped semi to rear-end the school bus.

19 children were on the bus at the time of the crash. Nine of them were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The driver of the stopped semi was also taken to the hospital.

Deputies say Benjamin Charles Marshal, 28, of Neosho Missouri, was cited for driving to fast for the roadway conditions and failure to maintain control.

According to the news release, the crash caused major damage to both tractor trailers and the school bus.

Route 35 was closed just before Cornstalk Road for a couple of hours while emergency crews were on the scene.



UPDATE 8/26/14 @ 11:35 a.m.
MASON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Route 35 in Mason County is back open after a school bus accident that sent nine children to the hospital.

The crash was reported just before 7:30 a.m. Tuesday on Route 35 near Cornstalk Road.

A spokesperson with the Department of Transportation tells WSAZ.com the school bus was stopped to pick up children when the crash happened. A semi was stopped behind the bus when the driver of another semi looked down and then ran into the stopped semi.
The impact caused the stopped semi to rear-end the school bus.

19 children were on the bus at the time of the crash. Nine of them were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The driver of the stopped semi was also taken to the hospital.

Route 35 was closed just before Cornstalk Road for a couple of hours while emergency crews were on the scene.



UPDATE @ 9:15 a.m.
MASON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Nine children were taken to the hospital after a bus accident in Mason County.

The crash was reported just before 7:30 a.m. Tuesday on Route 35 near Cornstalk Road.

A spokesperson with the Department of Transportation tells WSAZ.com the school bus was stopped to pick up children when the crash happened. A semi was stopped behind the bus when the driver of another semi looked down and then ran into the stopped semi.
The impact caused the stopped semi to rear-end the school bus.

19 children were on the bus at the time of the crash. Nine of them were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The driver of the stopped semi was also taken to the hospital.

Route 35 is closed just before Cornstalk Road. Right now, a detour is set up at the Buffalo Bridge, rerouting traffic onto Route 62.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 8/26/14 @ 8:45 a.m.
MASON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- An emergency responder at the scene tells WSAZ.com that nine children and two adults were taken to hospital following a crash involving a school bus in Mason County.

The accident happened on Route 35 near the intersection of Cornstalk Road about 7:30 Tuesday morning.

It appears a semi hauling lumber rear-ended the bus.

Dispatchers told WSAZ.com that none of the children were seriously hurt. They say some have cuts and bruises. The children were being taken to hospitals in Pt. Pleasant and Gallipolis.

Route 35 in the area the crash is expected to be closed several more hours.

We have a crew headed to the scene.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY 8/26/14 @ 8:11 a.m.
MASON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- More than a dozen students on a Mason County school bus are being taken to the hospital following an accident on Route 35.

Dispatchers say the accident involving the bus and a car happened near the intersection of Cornstalk Road between 7-7:30 am.

Dispatchers also tell WSAZ.com that none of the children are seriously hurt. They say some have cuts and bruises. The children are being taken to hospitals in Pt. Pleasant and Gallipolis.

The bus driver was not hurt. At least one person in the other vehicle has been injured.

Route 35 is closed in the area of the crash.

We have a crew headed to the scene. Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


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