School bus crash

The Laurel County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a Wednesday morning crash involving a Laurel County school bus.

A collision between a Ford pickup and a Laurel County School bus resulted in the occupants of the truck being taken to Saint Joseph London for treatment of injuries.

The accident happened around 8:50 a.m. Wednesday when the school bus driver, 52-year-old Donna Morgan, was driving east when she lost control of the bus in a sharp curve on a rain-slicked road on Ky. 638, approximately two miles east of London.

The pickup’s driver, 69-year-old Doyle Hoskins, and his passenger 62-year-old Barbara Hoskings, both of London, had to be extricated from the truck by members of the London-Laurel County Rescue Squad. They were transported by Ambulance Inc. of Laurel County for treatment of serious injuries.

Along with the driver the bus carried a monitor and an 11-year-old student. No injuries were reported from the bus, but the student was taken to Saint Joseph London for observation as a precaution.

According to a Laurel County Sheriff’s Office news release, the rear of the bus struck the pickup, which was traveling west.

The bus straddled the roadway while the pickup ended up in a ditch.

Bob Myer, the school district’s transportation chief, said protocols are in place in these cases, and the school system is working its plan to figure out why the crash took place.

“As soon as we’re alerted about the crash, I send the lead mechanic and the lead trainer to the crash site,” Myer said. “Tim (Gabbard, the lead trainer) takes care of the driver and works with law enforcement and makes sure everything is taken care of on that end.”

Myer said the mechanic will check out the bus to see if there were any mechanical issues that contributed to the crash.

“We sideline the bus immediately until we go through a complete inspection process,” he said.

Transportation officials also contact the nearest administrator, in this case Johnson Elementary Principal Jamie Gilliam, who will also go to the crash location. The administrator will also contact parents if there are students on the bus, Myer said.

The bus driver provides a written statement of what happened, and they are sent for a drug test, Myer said.

“We randomly drug test our drivers each quarter, 25 percent of drivers are tested each quarter,” he said.

Myer said it takes a few days to get the drug test results back, and those results were not ready as of press time Thursday.

The driver involved will take at least one shift off, and when they get back behind a wheel, a supervisor will ride with them to make sure they are OK, Myer said.

“She took yesterday afternoon off and she’s off today, and a supervisor will ride with her tomorrow,” he said.

Once the school systems receives the accident report from the law enforcement agency, and the bus inspection report and drug test results, Myer said it would be up to the school board to make a decision about the driver involved.

Myer said the road conditions may have played a key role in the crash.

“Yesterday, the bus was going around a curve and it had been raining, and leaves were on the road and it hadn’t rained in forever until yesterday,” Myer said.

“When a wreck happens, we make sure to check the tread depth, and it was good on those tires yesterday,” he added.

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