ST. LOUIS (KTRS) Authorities credit the quick thinking and defensive driving skills of the bus driver in that school bus accident this morning on I-44 with preventing serious injuries among the schoolchildren aboard the bus. All 13 students have been treated and released from St. Louis Children’s Hospital. The bus was taking voluntary desegregation students to Hanna Woods Elementary in Ballwin, where the principal says there is “huge relief” that all 13 students avoided serious injury.
The crash happened about 8 o-clock this morning on westbound Interstate 44 after the bus swerved to avoid an accident at the Lindbergh exit, drove over a guardrail and down a steep embankment. Highway Patrol Sgt. Al Nothum says a car had struck the median and spun toward the bus. It isn’t clear if the vehicles collided, but the bus swerved and ended up about 15 feet down a hill and came to rest at a 45-degree angle. The bus driver is hospitalized with moderate injuries.
Michael Nelson and his family live nearby. He ran out the door as soon as his mother started screaming. He reached the bus and immediately rushed to help one student who was struggling to escape. He says he tried to help free the driver but she was pinned between the steering wheel and a tree. First responders managed to extricate her.
The bus driver is credited with keeping the bus upright after swerving to avoid hitting other vehicles.