HCS bus crash protocol includes calling schools

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Transportation departments, emergency services notified

By Sarah Bennett

When a Hardin County Schools bus ran off the road and struck a tree Tuesday afternoon, administrators from the students’ schools went to the wreck  to ensure the kids were safe.

The actions of West Hardin Middle School Principal Jon Thomas and Lakewood Elementary Assistant Principal Jonathan Williams were not necessarily per protocol, said HCS spokesman John Wright, but “just an extra thing that they did.”

“These guys just wanted to make sure students were OK,” Wright said. “They wanted to be there with them as they waited for another bus.”

No one was injured in Tuesday’s wreck, but Williams said like any educator, the administrators’ thoughts were with the students when they went to the scene.

“We wanted to check on our kids,” he said. “We’re the leaders of our schools.”

“Thomas stepped on the bus and I stepped on there next to him,” Williams added. “He asked, ‘Is everyone OK?’ The students said, ‘Yes.’”

In the event a school bus is involved in a wreck, Wright said the first step is for the driver to make sure everyone on board is OK.

If it is determined a student is injured, the next step would be to contact emergency personnel, he said.

All HCS bus drivers “are trained on handling an emergency situation,” Wright said, from minor emergencies such as a sick student to a major collision involving injuries.

From there, the district’s transportation department is contacted as well as the students’ school, Wright and Superintendent Nannette Johnston.

Asked about the students’ parents, Wright said, “If there is a delay, we ask the school to help us make contact with parents.”

Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or sbennett@thenewsenterprise.com.