Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2004
A school bus crash sends more than a dozen students to the hospital and investigators try and figure out what caused the chaotic collision.
Six people remain hospitalized, including one person in critical condition, four teens and two adults.
The bus was carrying about 25 people, including the Buhler High School volleyball team, when it collided with a van at K-254 and Webb Road.
“I guess the van just hit us in the back and tipped over and we were just skidding along,” says accident victim Brennen Richman.
It was a scary afternoon for the bus full of high school students. At about 3:30 p.m. today, they were traveling through Wichita when their bus suddenly was turned on its side.
“The bus was eastbound on 254…at Webb Road,” says Gary Warner, with the Kansas Highway Patrol. “The white van was making a left-hand turn off of westbound 254 to southbound Webb Road.”
The tremendous crash resulted in substantial injuries, the most serious for the driver and passenger of the van.
The driver had to be airlifted to the hospital. While the passenger of the van, and several of the buses passengers were taken by ambulance.
“Everybody’s pretty scared,” says Tom Faulkner, the father of an accident victim. “My daughter’s in [the hospital.] They’re going to keep her there overnight for observation.”
Although it was a frightening afternoon, most people escaped with only cuts and bruises.
“I just remember, I don’t remember getting out of the bus,” says Kris Richman, an accident victim. “I just somehow got out.”
“We’re very relieved,” says Buhler School District superintendent David Brax. “It’s a very trying situation. We’re very relieved that it appears all of our students will be fine.”
Because of the nature of the accident many of the girls were taken to the hospital with very minor injuries.
The accident has shaken up the entire small town of Buhler, where news of the accident spread quickly.
Students and parents were left with many questions, about who was on the bus, if anyone was hurt or killed.
Another bus was dispatched to pick up the students who weren’t injured. They were taken back to Buhler.
Teachers and administrators at Buhler High School spent the afternoon trying to calm students who were shaken by the news of the crash.
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