Three Tonganoxie Elementary School children were taken to area hospitals for further examination of minor injures that resulted from a school bus collision this morning.
Around 7:30 a.m., a Tonganoxie School District bus carrying around 30 children from all three Tonganoxie schools was heading north on 206th Street when it got to the intersection of U.S. Highway 24-40, just east of Tonganoxie.
Kansas State Technical Trooper Howard Dickinson said Gerald Nelson, the 69-year-old Tonganoxie bus driver, stopped at the intersection, but must not have seen the Chrysler Pacifica heading east on the highway.
The bus pulled in front of the vehicle causing Cheryl Macek, 32, Tonganoxie, to hit the bus with her vehicle.
Dickinson said there was extensive damage to both vehicles, but neither driver was injured.
“It could have been a lot worse had there been a passenger in the second vehicle,” Dickinson said.
Leavenworth County Emergency Medical Services tended to the children on the bus, but released the three injured children to their parents who took the children to local hospitals.
Keagan Newberry, 8, and Cindy Andersen, 8, were taken to Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Aubrie Donell, 9, was taken to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo.
Newberry and Andersen were treated and released from LMH. An official from Children's Mercy Hospital said there were no records that Donell was treated at their facility.
The remaining students were taken to the three Tonganoxie public schools to begin their school days.
Kyle Haden, assistant superintendent, wrote in a press release that the district was “thankful that there were not any serious injuries and we regret that this situation occurred.”
He said there have been other bus-related accidents in the district this year, but they were usually minor incidents such as fender benders, not anything involving so many emergency personnel and on a major highway.
Hayden spoke with Superintendent Richard Erickson Wednesday afternoon about prior bus collisions of this magnitude, but Erickson couldn’t recall in his 12 years at the school district a collision that rendered a bus undrivable.
The two vehicles were towed from the scene.