SALYERSVILLE, Ky. — Seven children and a driver injured when a Kentucky school bus crashed over an embankment and landed on its side remain hospitalized with varying injuries, officials said in a statement Tuesday.
Another 11 children were treated at hospitals and released, according to the statement from Magoffin County Schools.
The bus crashed Monday morning in rural Kentucky, sending 18 children and the driver to hospitals with injuries ranging from minor to severe. Pupils from elementary age through high school were aboard the bus en route to classes when the crash happened on a state highway near Salyersville in eastern Kentucky, said Magoffin County Schools Superintendent Chris Meadows.
On Tuesday, Magoffin County Schools shared in a Facebook post that 11 of the students involved in the accident had been treated and released from the hospital. The remaining students and driver are still being treated for varying injuries. "Please continute to keep everyone in your thoughts and prayers," the statement concluded.
Wireman said, “This is just another tragedy with our youth. This is a nightmare from a parent standpoint, from a student standpoint. I’m sure the school superintendent and staff are just—this is one of their worst fears. I was school finance officer for 25 years so I know what the school system goes through trying to keep students safe. As County Judge, our community is once again being hit with such a tragedy. It’s almost just unbelievable this is happening again.”
The bus driver and two students were airlifted to area hospitals. All other students were transported from the scene on the ground.
Superintendent Chris Meadows of Magoffin County Schools had a news conference Monday afternoon. He said, officials are thankful that there aren't any fatalities to report at this time.
“All of these families, these students and this driver, they are in our thoughts and prayers,” Meadows said, adding officials were following up with families and doing everything possible to help them.
State Trooper Michael Coleman said it wasn’t immediately clear what caused the crash. “We’re really in the beginning stages of the investigation,” Coleman said, adding the road was expected to remain shut for several hours.
The Salyersville Independent shared details of what happened on its Facebook page on Monday.
Gov. Andy Beshear confirmed the serious accident on social media, and added that Kentucky State Police are responding to the scene. "Please join me in praying for all those involved," the governor wrote.
There has been discussion about the possibility of a guard rail in the area where the crash happened, but water and sewer lines under the roadway have created barriers to moving forward, Wireman said.
He said several crashes have been reported in the general area over the years.
“That's typical in any rural area where you have a lot of winding roads,” he said
The school bus did not have seat belts, Meadows said.
The National Transportation Safety Board renewed a call earlier this month for adding seat belts on school buses after completing an investigation of a 2020 crash in Tennessee that killed the driver and a 7-year-old girl.
U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul joined state and local officials in offering prayers for the families involved.
The state highway remains shutdown as crews respond to the crash. Kentucky State Police was assisted by various agencies including volunteer fire departments from Magoffin, Morgan, Johnson and Floyd counties.