Four Clay County students taken to hospital after SUV-bus crash

Monday, September 18, 2017
Clay County emergency responders work the scene of a U.S. 40 crash involving a school bus and sport utility vehicle. The SUV caught fire as a result of the crash.
Courtesy photo

BRAZIL -- Four Clay County students were taken to a local hospital Monday afternoon after a Clay Community School Corp. (CCSC) school bus and sport-utility vehicle collided on U.S. 40 at the Staunton flashers, west of Brazil.

Three of the students were taken to St. Vincent Clay Hospital in Brazil by ambulance, while the fourth was transported by a parent “for further evaluation” after the accident was first reported around 2:39 p.m., according to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.

“We’re very grateful it wasn’t any worse,” CCSC Superintendent Jeffrey Fritz, who arrived at the scene shortly after it happened, said. “All other students were checked out by a nurse and first-responders at the scene before getting onto a second bus to continue their trip home from school.”

After the accident at U.S. 40 and North County Road 425 West, the driver of the school bus moved the vehicle west on U.S. 40 to await arrival of another bus to take the students on board home safely.

The Sheriff’s Officer reported that bus driver Katrina Hughes, 69, was driving the bus north on County Road 425 West. As she proceeded north across U.S. 40, the bus was struck just behind the rear axle on the driver’s side by a Chevrolet SUV.

The impact caused the SUV to burst into flames and left its driver, Charles Minton, 54, Plainfield, trapped.

Authorities said two local residents stopped to help Minton by pulling his legs free and removing him from the burning vehicle before “significant injuries were sustained.”

Minton told police he was eastbound on U.S. 40 and had just passed another vehicle when he saw the school bus enter the road. He attempted to avoid the crash by swerving to the south.

The bus was transporting 43 students home following their release from school.

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