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Posted April 12, 2013 | comments Leave a comment

School bus crashes near Maurertown

By Sally Voth

A Friday morning school bus crash resulted in some shaken-up students, but no serious injuries among the dozens onboard, said Shenandoah County Public Schools Superintendent Keith Rowland.

He said the bus crashed a little before 7:30 a.m. on Headley Road (Va. 600).

"We've not heard anything that would indicate anyone was hurt seriously," Rowland said. "I think there were a lot of kids that were scared."

Another bus was brought to the scene to transport the children to school, he said.

"We had administrators on site," Rowland said. "We called the parents of the kids whose parents didn't come to the site. Most parents came to the school to check on their children.

"We always take it very seriously, and I went to the site myself."

Eight children were seen in the emergency room at Shenandoah Memorial Hospital, public relations/marketing manager Lore Bredeman said. She said any injuries were minor.

Kianna Rush, a Central High School junior, said she was sleeping on the bus when the crash happened. She estimated she'd been riding it for 20-30 minutes.

"Then, I heard the bus go off the road, but I thought she would get it under control, and then I heard all the kids screaming and so I woke up, and I just saw like blue lights and sparks flying everywhere," Rush said. "It was scary. Some of [the children] were really upset."

Rowland described the damage to the bus as "sizable."

State police spokesman Sgt. F.L. "Les" Tyler said the crash happened three-tenths of a mile east of Va. 661 (Ridgeley Road). He said the bus was heading west on Headley Road when it ran off the right side of the road, striking a fence and a utility pole.

He said there were 45 children on board at the time of the crash. The driver was Lisa Lynn Knicely, 55, according to Tyler. He said Trooper C.S. Cline is investigating the crash.

Rowland said the driver had been a county bus driver for 10 years, and has been driving school buses since 1987.

Rush praised the bus driver.

"She was shaken up, but she had to stay calm for the kids," she said. "She dealt with it well."

There are cameras on the buses, Rowland said.

"We are in the process of conducting a thorough investigation," he said. "We have the advantage [that] we can actually watch and see what took place."

Contact staff writer Sally Voth at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or svoth@nvdaily.com

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