Superintendent: Protocol not followed after North Star school bus accident
North Star High School (Daily American File Photo)
The crash occurred at the intersection of routes 403 and 30.
Superintendent Shawn Kovac said the driver should have notified 911, the bus company and the school district following the crash. Emergency crews would then have been dispatched to the scene to assess student injuries and to conduct a crash report, Kovac said.
Instead, Kovac said the school bus driver exchanged insurance information with the coal truck driver and asked the students on the bus if they were OK before proceeding with the route.
"When students got home they told their parents they were involved in a crash, and we (the school district) didn't even know about it yet," Kovac said. "My heart dropped out. It was very troubling for me to hear about an accident from parents calling in (instead of standard procedure)."
The school district notified parents of the crash Monday through its emergency text-message and phone call system. Administrators also met in person with the parents of several students involved in the crash.
"I personally called (the remaining) parents to ask if everyone was OK," Kovac said. "Some students reported some bumps and bruises, and aches and pains."
Griffith Buslines has issued a new bus and driver at the request of the school district.
"We are still conducting an investigation as to why (protocol was not followed)," Kovac said, "and we'll take the appropriate actions from there."
This is the fourth school bus accident the district has experienced since May. Each accident has occurred along Route 30.