Children on a Bulloch County school bus that slid into a ditch Friday morning were likely frightened, but only a few of them complained of minor injuries.
Bulloch County Schools public relations and marketing director Hayley Greene said there were about 30 students from Langston Chapel middle and elementary schools, as well as Statesboro High School, aboard the bus as it slid into a ditch on a dirt road near Register around 7:10 a.m. Friday.
“No damage to the bus was immediately visible,” but after the children were unloaded and taken to school on another bus, a wrecker pulled the first bus out of the ditch and slight damage was noted, she said.
“The driver of the bus asked the children on the bus four times if anyone was hurt. The children responded, ‘no’ and the driver did not see any visible injuries,” Greene said. “he bus’s on-board surveillance camera confirms this action.”
However, “When the children were on board the second bus, they began to report possible injuries to the driver. The Transportation Department contacted the principals of LCES, LCMS, and SHS to make them aware and asked them to have each school’s registered nurse meet the bus when it arrived at their schools. The registered nurses examined each child and contacted parents,” she said.
Complaints included bruising, a sore ankle and several “bumped heads.”
“In keeping with the Transportation Department’s safety protocol, the bus driver will be required to submit to a drug and alcohol screening, and (the driver) is now temporarily suspended from duty pending this mandatory drug and alcohol screening,” Greene said.
“Bulloch County has nearly 800 miles of dirt roads. For this reason, a bus sliding into a ditch can be a common occurrence for the school district, particularly after periods of heavy rain.”