Two school buses crash in Northland - KCTV5 News

Two Liberty school buses collide, five injured

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It was a scary sight Friday afternoon after two school buses packed with students collided.

The most recent crash, which occurred about 3 p.m. at 105th Street and Cookingham Drive, may be the beginning of what some said is a much needed change.

The good news is the injuries were minor. However, the wreck could be the impetus for change.

The front of bus 83 was in pretty bad shape after rear-ending bus 85, the one Justin Knebel was on.

"I was just talking to a friend and then, boom, the bus crashed into our bus," said Justin, a seventh-grader.

His bus had stopped for a passenger car turning left into the NorthStar Village mobile home complex. The bus behind theirs came over the hill and couldn't stop in time.

"It just smashed me against one seat and then it smashed me against the other seat, but I'm OK," Justin said.

Which is something the seventh-grader's grandpa was glad to hear.

"The way he talked I knew there was nothing wrong with him," Wiland Knebel said.

There were 100 students from Liberty's South Valley Junior High and Middle School on board altogether, grades six through nine. Three of them went to hospital as well as both drivers.

"Most of the reason why they were transported is for precautionary reasons. Any complaints, especially with children, we need to get those things checked out," said Battalion Chief James Garrett with the Kansas City Fire Department.

But a woman who lives nearby said there have been more severe wrecks before and, every time, it's the same general scenario.

"The gentleman who hit me, he was coming down this way and there was a person getting ready to turn into this park," neighbor Carolyn Davis said.

A police sergeant who works the area couldn't say if wrecks in that area were a frequent thing, but he agreed that whenever there is a wreck, it's a set-up much like the one that happened Friday.

"It's 55 through here and when somebody stops to turn here, you're coming at that momentum and you can't see someone stopped here to turn in; there's nothing you can do," Davis said. "I was off work for four months because of this, and I hope they either close this entrance or make a turn lane."

The police sergeant told KCTV5's Betsy Webster officers have raised the issue before, but it's unclear whether the city or the state would get to decide on any change because Cookingham Drive is also Missouri Highway 291.

One low-cost option the sergeant suggested was simply making that section a no-left-turn zone with signs up saying so.

Liberty Public Schools released students to their parents who had arrived on scene. The rest were taken to their respective homes by busses called in help by the transportation department.

Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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