Friday, November 19, 2010
UPDATE A school bus carrying 23 students from Westport’s Coleytown Elementary School went off the road on Lyons Plains Road in Weston today, striking a tree and ending down a gully in the woods.
The Westport school bus was heavily damaged on its left side after striking a tree. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
None of the students and school bus monitor appeared to suffer any major industries, but the driver was injured and had to be removed on a stretcher. One of the students reported a minor injury but was not hospitalized.
“We are delighted that none of our students were seriously injured in this accident and thankful for the quick response of the town’s emergency personnel to this incident,” said Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon in a statement. “We also are proud of the actions of our school bus monitor to ensure the safety of all our students.
It was not immediately known why the bus went off the road shortly before 8:30 a.m. at the corner of Lyons Plains Road and North Avenue. The students were removed from the bus and placed on an empty Weston school bus that happened to be passing by.
The students, except for two taken from the scene by a mother, were taken to Coleytown Elementary School for further evaluation.
Coleytown Elementary School Principal Janna Bell and Transportation Coordinator Sandy Evangelista responded to the scene.
Many of the youngsters were crying as they spoke to emergency workers.
A Westport EMS unit assisted Weston EMS, police, and fire personnel.
The Westport EMS unit then went to Coleytown Elementary School where all the students and school bus monitor were evaluated and found not to require medical treatment.
Emergency workers removed the driver from the bus on a stretcher through the bus’s rear emergency door.
“Those kids are very, very lucky,” said one Weston volunteer firefighter as he surveyed the scene.
The weather was clear and visibility was good at the time of the accident.
The bus veered off the road just before the intersection with Lyons Plains Road. Its left driver’s side was heavily damaged as it struck a tree, which had large chunks of bark torn off.
The bus continued to travel about 30 yards down a gully before coming to rest almost against a stone wall at the edge of North Avenue.
A Dattco Bus Company safety official also responded and said cause of the crash was under investigation.
In the absence of no other vehicle involved, there was speculation among some of the first responders that the driver may have suffered a medical problem or possibly may have fallen asleep.
Helen Klisser During contributed to this story.
Posted 11/19/10 at 02:09 PM