Friday, December 01, 2000

Bus crash claims 5-year-old

Most children on bus taken to hospitals

The Associated Press

        HERNDON — A bus packed with children overturned within sight of their elementary school Thursday, killing a 5-year-old kindergartner and sending more than 30 children to hospitals.

        Tyler Powers, 5-year-old son of a Fort Campbell soldier, was ejected from the bus and was declared dead at the scene, said Kentucky State Police Trooper Bryan Pitney.

        Tyler had been sitting next to his third-grade broth er, Lance, who wasn't hurt and climbed out one of the emergency exits on top of the bus.

[photo] Christian County school bus No.9434 rests on Ky. 117 Thursday in Herdon, Ky.
(Associated Press photo)
| ZOOM |
        “He was sitting on the bus with his brother and he didn't have a scratch on him,” said Carolyn Self, a grief counselor. “He was very brave.”

        Another bus passenger, a 10-year-old boy who suffered a head injury, was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., about 50 miles away. He was in stable condition, said spokesman John Howser.

        More than 30 students were taken to local hospitals, some by helicopter and others by ambulance, Kentucky State Police said. By mid-afternoon, most had been treated and released.

        The bus driver, identified as Ulima Allen, was admitted at Jennie Stuart Medical Center in Hopkinsville complaining of back pain.

        The bus rolled at least once shortly after 7 a.m. CST along Ky. 117 in rural Christian County near the Tennessee border.

        State police Trooper Chuck Robertson said the bus was carrying 47 students, an adult monitor and the driver. The bus apparently ran off the shoulder after rounding a curve and the driver overcorrected, sending the bus across both lanes before overturning.

        The bus came to rest on its right side, and the students had to be removed through three emergency exits or through the shattered front windshield, Trooper Robertson said.

        No other vehicles were involved in the crash.

        Because of the school's proximity to Fort Campbell, many of its 600 students have at least one parent in the military.

        It had not been determined Thursday how fast the bus was traveling. The driver was wearing a seat belt, but the rest of the bus did not have seat belts, Trooper Pitney said.

        Funeral arrangements for Tyler, one of three children of Phillip and Wendy Powers, were pending at Sykes Funeral Home in Clarksville, Tenn.


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