Students injured in school bus wreck

April 28, 2010 11:38:05 AM PDT
A school bus crash on Houston's south side sent ten students to the hospital and investigators say the bus driver was at fault. Those students from the KIPP Spirit College Prep school in southeast Houston are expected to be OK. "She looked frightened and scared and little bit in pain," said parent Jessica Newton of her daughter.

Newton was one of many concerned parents Wednesday morning after what was more than the usual traffic tie-up on Highway 288 near Almeda-Genoa. Police say a school bus, contracted by the company First Student, caused a wreck at around 7am which sent 10 middle school students to the hospital.

"Minor injuries, neck ache, no obvious fractures or anything along those lines, headaches," said Houston Fire Department Medical Director Dr. David Persse. "They were sent to four different hospitals."

At KIPP Spirit College Prep, a phone call from a student on the bus alerted them to the crash.

"The students know whenever there's a problem to give us a call and they know that we're there for them," said Assistant Principal Charles King.

School officials went to the scene, where officers say the bus driver had rear-ended a van, sending that van into two more vehicles in front of it.

"This hour on Highway 288 the traffic is pretty much at a standstill. It is pretty slow," said Sgt. IT Francois with the Houston Police Department Vehicle Crimes Division. "So we're trying to find out what happened, what he was doing to cause this collision."

The drivers in those smaller vehicles were sent to the hospital, along with some of the students on the bus. Most of the students -- 30 of them -- were loaded onto another bus and brought to school, with a full day of TAKS testing ahead of them.

"The ones that are able to continue testing are testing, the ones that needed to go home and needed to take a break from today are going to take the test later on this week," said King.

Despite the fact that the driver was cited for the accident, school officials say they do have a good relationship with that bus company.


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