October 11, 2006 Edition

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A Hillcrest School bus flipped Tuesday afternoon around 3:30 p.m. on Lawrence County Road 269. No one was seriously injured.
TD Photo ~ Amber Adams

No one seriously injured
in school bus accident

All 17 occupants were safely removed from the bus. Nine were transported by ambulance to the hospital.
TD Photo ~ Amber Adams
Amber Adams
Staff Writer

A Hillcrest School bus loaded with students flipped Tuesday afternoon into a ditch on Lawrence County Road 269 in a one-vehicle accident. No one was listed in critical condition as of Tuesday evening.

All 17 passengers are accounted for. The bus was carrying 16 students ranging in age from five to 16 years old.

Seven students and the bus driver, Danny Foley, were transported by ambulance to Lawrence Memorial Hospital for non-critical injuries. One student was transported to Randolph County Medical Center also for non-critical injuries.

"The good Lord was looking out for us," said Hillcrest Superintendent Greg Crabtree. "You can tell that by looking at the injuries after looking at the scene of the accident."

Sheriff Dan Ellison said following the tire marks, it looked like the right wheel of the bus slid off the side of the road while coming off the top of the hill. Since the highway is so much higher than the shoulder, the wheel was pulled off onto the shoulder.

Before the driver could correct it, the right tire hit a concrete culvert. The bus was then thrown across the road and into the ditch. Upon hitting the ditch, the bus flipped upside down.

No students were seriously injured in the accident, but the driver had to be cut out of the bus. Rescue workers said he was trapped under the driver's seat, so his injuries were probably more serious than anyone else's.

The power company cut off electricity to the area shortly after the accident since the bus had struck one of the poles.

Crabtree said he would like to thank everyone who responded to the scene including the Smithville, Lynn and Imboden Volunteer Fire Departments, Black Rock volunteer firemen, Rescue 7 out of Walnut Ridge, Arkansas Emergency Transport, Medic One, State Police and other first responders.

Dail's Wrecker Service, out of Ravenden was called to remove the bus.

"We were lucky ~ very lucky," said Hillcrest High School Principal George Green.

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