Principal rides bus with students after school bus crash on I-44

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One day after a school bus drove off Interstate 44 and into a wooded ravine, sending all the students on board and the driver to the hospital, the school's principal boarded the bus and rode the route with students to help ease their fears.

A school bus carrying 13 students to Hanna Woods Elementary School in Manchester was involved in an accident Thursday (May 11) just before 8 a.m. Principal Patrick Shelton said nine of the students who were involved in the crash took the bus to school Friday morning. The other four opted to stay home from school Friday.

Dr. Shelton said the students seemed to be in "good spirits" during the ride to school Friday morning. He said they talked about the accident and the minor injuries some received. One student had an arm in a sling, and another iced a cut that required stitches.

Missouri Highway Patrol reports the bus was traveling westbound on I-44 when a car traveling in the same direction attempted to change lanes, lost control and clipped the rear end of the bus. The impact caused the bus driver to lose control of the bus and drive into the concrete barrier in the middle of the interstate. The bus bumped off the median, across traffic, through the guardrail and off the outer side of the roadway just east of Lindbergh Boulevard in Kirkwood.

People living near the accident scene rushed to help the students and driver. Several students suffered bumps and bruises. The driver was pinned in her seat. All were transported to area hospitals for treatment.

In a statement Parkway School District commended the bus driver stating:
"First responders noted the bus driver's heroic effort and ability to keep the bus upright, as it could have easily rolled down the embankment. we are so proud of her, as she exemplifies all of the caring adults committed to keeping our children safe every day."

The district reports all 13 students suffered minor injuries and were released from the hospital. The bus driver is stable at a local hospital and expected to make a full recovery.

Dr. Shelton said an administrator planned to ride the bus home with the students Friday after school, as well as to and from school on Monday.