A school bus sits on the side of the road after being involved in an accident on January 25. None of the children on board were seriously injured

Some local parents were in for a scare last week when a bus carrying seven young school students was involved in multi-vehicle accident. On January 25, a straight truck slammed first into a small car, and then into the rear left side of the school bus. The accident took place on County Road 43, near Burritts Rapids, a few seconds after the bus had stopped for a pick up and was about to depart again. Several emergency vehicles responded to the scene, including multiple ambulances. 

No serious injuries were reported despite extensive observable damage. The side of the bus was severely dented, while the truck ended up on its side, and the car was left upside down as a mangled wreck. A parent whose son was on the school bus sitting in the rear near where it was struck was eager to express relief that her son made it out with only a small bump on his head. 

“[The bus] had just picked up the kids and they had just sat down and he was about to go,” said the parent, who wished to remain anonymous. “So if they were walking or not in yet, it would have been much worse for sure. The mom that was standing in the driveway had to run back towards the house to not get hit by the truck that landed on her driveway.”

The parent’s son asked a witness to the accident if he could borrow her cellphone. He called his mother and told her that a truck hit the bus. “I said to stay calm and help the others stay calm as I could hear the little ones crying a bit,” the parent said. “I went to the scene right away. I was shocked at the extent of the scene considering there were no injuries to any of the kids. I was relieved to be able to hug him and see he was in one piece.”

Accidents involving school buses are relatively rare, but they can be incredibly scary for parents when they occur. Campaigns have been in place for many years to combat the problem of motorists ignoring the flashing lights and stop arms which command them to stop when a school bus is completing a drop off or a pick up. Locals frequently express their frustration with this continuing problem, which can put children in serious danger. 

A media officer for the Ontario Provincial Police confirmed that as a result of the incident, a 36 year old male from Amherstview was issued a citation under the Highway Traffic Act, 175(12.2) – Fail to stop at least 20 metres behind school bus. It is fortunate that this bad situation did not end much worse. 


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