Wichita school bus crash sends students to hospital, District defends not canceling trip based on morning projections


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A USD 259 spokesperson says Wednesday’s weather was not bad enough to cancel a field trip to Topeka based on information from weather partners about road conditions Wednesday morning.

It comes after a school bus lost control and rolled between Emporia and Wichita while on its way to Topeka sending 18 children to the hospital.

The crash had many parents concerned about the school’s protocol.

“What is going on? Is my daughter okay?” asks parent Terrance Scott. “It was stressful just pacing back and forth at work wondering if my daughter is alright mentally and physically.”

“Scary,” his daughter replies.

Scott is just thankful his daughter is okay.

“She broke down,” Scott says.

The bus carrying 36 students was on a field trip to Topeka when it ended up on its side between Emporia and Wichita, sending 18 students to the hospital with minor and serious injuries.

“The scariest part was seeing my friends go to the hospital,” Scott’s daughter adds.

Troopers and first responders did their best to comfort the kids when parents could not be there.

“It is kind of like what you do as a parent with your kids. You just calm them down the best you can and let them know that help is on the way and they are going to be ok,” says Captain John Lenherr of the Kansas Highway Patrol

The news of the accident made its way through the carpool line for family picking up children at Park Elementary School.

“If my grandson was on that bus, I would have had big issues,” says Paula Simon, who was picking up her grandson. “It should have been rescheduled.”

Students returned home Wednesday evening and were ready to see their parents.

“It is a big relief that she is okay and walking,” says Scott.

But he also wonders if the school made a mistake in sending his daughter in the first place.

“Probably shouldn’t be taking a long field trip, should have a better protocol on it,” he says.


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