2 injured students home from hospital following school bus crash in Clay County

Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 6:00 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CLAY COUNTY, Mo. (KCTV) - A school bus overturned in Clay County near Mount Olivet Road and NE 120th Street just after 8 a.m. Monday, injuring two elementary students and the bus driver.

According to a spokesperson for the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, the two students have been released from the hospital. The driver was expected to be released later in the day. Smithville School District Interim Superintendent Denise Harwood described their injuries as moderate to minor.

At the scene of the crash, visible tire tracks showed where the bus left the roadway. After a preliminary investigation, officers said it appears that the driver overcorrected. The bus then overturned and came to a stop blocking both lanes of traffic.

First responders and Good Samaritans helped 29 students get off the bus.

“As a parent, my heart goes out to those parents who got that news,” parent and school board member Whitney Carlile said. “I just am heartbroken for those kids.”

She and her family live near where the crash happened. Her children were not on the bus at the time.

“As a mom and a parent here, these are our friends and neighbors,” Carlile said. “When I heard there was an accident, my heart broke for those students and their families. I hope for the best and I want to give them all a hug.”

A neighbor stopped to speak with KCTV5 News off camera. They reported seeing bus drivers previously traveling over the speed limit on the two-lane road. KCTV5 saw several drivers passing quickly by the crash scene Monday afternoon.

“This is a country road. It doesn’t see a lot of traffic, but it is two lanes,” Clay County Sheriff’s Office Public Relations Manager Sarah Boyd said. “There’s no shoulder, so it’s kind of unforgiving in that aspect. You really must pay attention and be careful to where your edges are and what’s coming.”

Interim Smithville Superintendent Denise Harwood read a brief written statement Monday afternoon but did not take any questions.

“Our heart goes out to our students and to our families,” Harwood said. “We would like to ensure that they feel supported, and each family will receive a phone call from school personnel to check on the students today.”

Investigators took photos and measurements of the crash scene Monday morning. They will interview the driver, witnesses and review any available video of the crash.

“The accident is being investigated by the Clay County Sheriff’s Department and DS Bus Lines, who is our contracted bus service,” Harwood said.

KCTV5 News reached out to DS Bus Lines for comment but we have not yet heard back.

The school district is offering counseling for students who would like to speak with someone following the crash.

Previous coverage:

Two children, driver injured after school bus with 30 kids inside overturns