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School bus accident leaves minor injuries

School bus accident leaves minor injuries
An accident involving two Weakley County Schools buses resulted in 22 students being seen at Volunteer Community Hospital Thursday afternoon. 
According to Jeff Kelley, Assistant Director of Schools, the accident occurred in the pick- up line in front of Westview High School.  “Information provided to our office indicates that one bus collided with the rear of another. Our SRO, Officer Narcissa Bowker, implemented the school’s Incident Response Plan and called 911 in order to expedite the process of assessing injuries.”
Kelley added that the system’s Supervisor of Nurses, Beth Kempton, was on campus and began evaluating students prior to the arrival of emergency responders. 
“We are fortunate that Mrs. Kempton is based at Westview and that she and another staff member who is a nurse and teacher at the school, Mrs. Carolyn Glover, were present at the time the accident occurred.  They were able to quickly make sure we had no serious injuries and pass important information regarding the status of the students they had seen on to the paramedics once they arrived.”  
Kempton reported that, according to the follow up contacts she has been able to complete so far, most of the students who were treated at the hospital were seen for precautionary reasons. 
“Since the accident happened right at the end of the school day and the buses were loading, those students who were standing up received the most of the impact from the buses hitting each other.”  One of the drivers, according to Kempton, was held overnight for observation and dismissed from the hospital Friday.
Westview’s Assistant Principal, Jeromy Davidson, commented that he was extremely proud of the efforts the staff at Westview made in responding to the incident. 
“We train for this sort of thing, and just hope we never have to put things into actual practice; but in this case our staff went to work trying to calm the younger students, prepare for parents who would soon be arriving to pick up their child or take an accurate count of the students who were involved.” 
Davidson said the assistance of two individuals from other Martin Schools was particularly helpful. 
“Lisa Beam, the Incident Response Team Coordinator at Martin Primary School, and SRO Christie Lifsey, who serves both Martin Primary and Martin Elementary, came to the scene with emergency contact forms and helped reassure the students from their schools.  That was tremendously helpful.” 
Davidson noted, “…one thing I do know we need to ask for help with, in reviewing the response to the accident, is that we need to ask parents to be sure to memorize the number of the school bus their child is assigned to. Since it’s so early in the school year, we are still becoming familiar with new students, and since the accident involved students from several schools as passengers, our efforts to reunite students and parents would have been expedited if each parent knew what bus their student was supposed to be on. “
Kelley stated that Kempton and the nurses assigned to the other schools will continue their follow up contact with students affected by the accident in the next several days. 
Additionally, Kelley said school officials will work with authorities to discover the cause of the accident.
The Martin Police Department, Martin Fire Department and Weakley County Ambulance Service responded to the scene.
Both buses had a total of 80 riders.
WCP 8.24.10

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