No injuries reported in Cloverdale bus crash

Thursday, December 18, 2008

CLOVERDALE -- All 21 students onboard a Cloverdale Community Schools bus that crashed Thursday morning escaped unscathed.

The accident happened about 9:30 a.m. on Owen Park Road just off U.S. 231.

"(The bus) slid down a hill and hit a tree," said Rob Schroer, Cloverdale Community Schools transportation director.

Schroer said seven children -- all middle school students -- were taken to Putnam County Hospital for evaluation, and all had been released by early afternoon Thursday.

"They were shook up for a little while until they knew they weren't going to slide anymore," Shroer said.

The bus involved was No. 28, driven by Shannon McGuire. All the students were elementary and middle schoolers, Schroer said.

Shroer said all parents were notified within a half-hour of the accident.

"We have a bus student list and assigned seats, so we knew who to call," he said.

Schroer doesn't know yet if the bus can be repaired.

"It wasn't a very pretty sight," he said. "I haven't had it checked out yet, but it's in pretty rough shape."

Troopers from the Bloomington Post of the Indiana State Police responded to the accident.

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  • I was out at 9am this morning in southern Putnam Co...roads where ice covered. I spotted two buses struggling with the roadways...I just wonder what goes thru the person or persons head who makes these 2 hour delays...Do they think the ice will melt by 10 when the temp reaches 25...Come on Cloverdale school system...Owen Co close their schools..If my child was on that bus I would be furious...

    -- Posted by JUSTFACTS68 on Thu, Dec 18, 2008, at 2:44 PM
  • Does Cloverdale schools check the side roads or only the highways that have been cleaned good. This could have been a fatal accident if the bus had gone into the pond. God must have been with the bus driver & children this morning. Maybe now Cloverdale will check the country roads. Spencer-Owen always closes when the side roads are bad. They don't risk childrens lives.

    -- Posted by troubledparent on Thu, Dec 18, 2008, at 4:09 PM
  • why would you be furious if your child was on that bus, you could just as easily tole yer kids to stay home instead of going. And i can understand why spencer-owen closes ther's more often, beings the roads are alot different down there, such as alot more curves hills an hollars where those in putnam are a bit better. its to bad there was an accident, they happen, even to the best of us, all that matters is that the kids an everyone were ok.

    -- Posted by justmoveonwillya on Thu, Dec 18, 2008, at 7:43 PM
  • We recently moved to the Poland area. Where we live is actually considered Owen County. But our children and those that live around us go to Cloverdale. (It is a strange system.) My problem that if Owen County schools are closed bc the roads are too bad and some of the students that attend Cloverdale actually live in Owen County, why aren't they closing school too? How can half the county have roads safe enough for kids to go to school and the other half not?

    -- Posted by putnammom on Thu, Dec 18, 2008, at 8:04 PM
  • Most schools w/roads like many of Cloverdales roads,do make wise choices w/regards to safety.Schools are mandated to be in attendance a minimum of 180 days to get their funding from the state. Those schools choose to add days in the warm dry safe summer to meet the 180 and go w/safety. Its a judgement call w/built in common sense.Not sure if some whom make the judgement call are wanting to get to summer break sooner or what.These ice covered roads are the same ones that do this every year and have for years. With pre school,kindergarten aged kids( those that look 1 ft tall and 26 lbs,sittin in a huge slick seat w/no safety belts...well use those facts when makin the judgement. Safety,or another day longer in the summer.

    -- Posted by honestyisbestpolicy on Thu, Dec 18, 2008, at 9:01 PM
  • Why I believe our school system does use their best judgement in keeping our children safe, I do have some questions. I really don't understand how a bus can have children riding without seatbelts or any protection at all. I mean if my 9 year old - who happens to be under 80 pounds - is sitting without a booster seat and seatbelt in my vehicle, I would be getting a $100 ticket or more. So we entrust our children to the school system to transport them to school. Why shouldn't they have to follow the laws also? Can someone explain that one to me?

    -- Posted by MY2009 on Fri, Dec 19, 2008, at 9:27 AM
  • My 2009 I'll be glad to explain - someone correct me if I am wrong, or feel free to add-in, but this is what I was told several years ago at a bus driver's orientation session several years ago. (I have since stopped driving a school bus for other reasons.)

    The larger (72+ passenger) buses aren't equipped with seat belts for several reasons: One reason being because if there were a fire on the bus or a need to quickly evacuate passengers from the bus (in this case pond water) - it would be impossible to unbelt every student and get passengers out safely and quickly - especially if the driver is injured.

    (side note - The majority of the buses on the road today now run on diesel fuel because it is considered a safer fuel because although it's supposedly less cumbustible than gasoline - it's still flammable.)

    School buses are actually one of the safest vehicles on the road. (there are 10 emergency escape areas - 2 on top - 3 on each side (they're highlighted with reflective tape on the outside of the bus and marked on the inside) the back door and front door.

    They're made of stronger material than the cars, trucks, mini-vans, 12 & 15 passenger vans on the roads today. {I do think the tops could be reinforced}. The seats are padded and are high enough to blunt an impact and provide protection for the passenger - IF -the passenger is sitting in the seat correctly.

    (parents - next time your child is written up for not sitting in their seat correctly or causing mischief on the bus - don't get upset with the driver - part of their job is keeping your child safe to and from school or school-related activities. The drivers really need your support with the write-ups instead of grief.)

    Another reason seat belts aren't installed in the buses because they can be used as a weapon. Even though most like to think that would never happen - unfortunately it does - kids are kids.

    Based on the details of the accident from the transportation director, it sounds like the driver did everything she could do to keep the bus under control. She avoided the pond and was stopped by a tree. The children were taken to the hospital as a precaution, injuries were minor. Mr. Schrorer states that the bus is in rough shape, but I'm looking at it from the point that it did it's job in protecting the passengers. This would have had an entirely different outcome had they been riding in a different vehicle.

    -- Posted by Scripted Spontaneity on Fri, Dec 19, 2008, at 1:10 PM
  • I drove a bus for years. Seat belts are not necessary, and try to have your kids put them on.....The problem is Cloverdale Administration having school on crappy days. Back roads are where most kids live, and where most roads are not plowed or treated. No matter how much a driver complains,or the parents the school has classes anyway. Have the Superintendent drive at 6 in the am and check all these back roads.........then decide! I bet she wouldn't get out of her nice warm house :( I been there and done that.......SAD

    -- Posted by sad_but_true on Sun, Dec 21, 2008, at 4:42 PM
  • Hey Sad ...... don't forget - the process of getting a bus ready for a route also does a number on one's manicure too. Ahh memories.

    -- Posted by Scripted Spontaneity on Mon, Dec 22, 2008, at 11:39 PM
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