A school bus filled with sixth-graders overturned Wednesday in northeast Kansas, injuring at least 18 children, reports The Washington Post on Aug. 21. The crash occurred while the bus was moving onto an off ramp from Kansas rte. 7 to Kaw Drive in Wyandotte County.
Thirty-six Pembroke Hill students, all girls, were on their way to an annual overnight camping trip at Tall Oaks camp in Linwood, Kan.
A total of 18 students, along with the driver, were taken by ambulance to five nearby hospitals with what would be considered non-critical injuries. In addition to bruises and scrapes, some of the students were treated for head and spinal injuries.
Witnesses said they observed the bus traveling too fast and being unable to navigate the off ramp curve.
Kate Banks, a mother of two of the sixth-grade girls on the bus, was at work when a friend alerted her to the accident.
“I was, like, ‘What are you talking about?’ Of course I was panicked,” said Banks. “No one from the school ever called me, but the hospital called me.”
Speaking after her daughters had been examined at the hospital, Banks said, “It’s hard to see your child scraped and bumped here and there and describe going through that. My girls confirmed they were on the exit ramp and probably going too fast, and rolled and rolled.”
Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Howard Dickinson, who responded to the crash, said many of the girls were placed on wooden backboards as a precaution against spinal and neck injuries.
“The hardest thing at first was getting the girls calmed down and squared away,” Dickinson said.
Most of the children were treated and released, with at least three of them remaining hospitalized for observation.