School bus overturns after colliding with dump truck; 6 children injured

School bus overturns after colliding with dump truck; 6 children injured

LUNENBURG COUNTY, VA (WWBT) - Kenston Forest School officials and Virginia State Police confirm a school bus overturned after it collided with a dump truck in Lunenburg County.

State police said it happened on Fletcher Chapel Road right before Route 40.

Police said the bus had slowed to to make a left turn onto Fletcher Chapel Road when the truck failed to stop in time and rear ended the bus. The impact caused the bus to spin around and overturn.

Six children on board were injured with one being serious, state police said. A total of five children were taken to the hospital by ambulance.

The bus driver was also taken to the hospital by vehicle just as a precaution.

A total of 13 elementary school-aged students were on Bus 26, the school’s Kenbridge bus.

School officials sen an email to parents saying some students suffered broken bones, cuts and were badly bruised. Some students were still being tested and evaluated.

"I got a call from a number I didn’t recognize and it was my son borrowing a phone from a classmate saying their bus had just been destroyed, upside down and turned over,” parent John Hite said.

Many got the frantic call Tuesday afternoon.

"He said ‘Mom you’ve got to come. There’s been an accident and some people lost consciousness. I need you to come’,” another parent added.

The call for the accident came in around 3:25 p.m.

"My daughter had some blood on her…I was told that my daughter was in the ambulance and so was my son, and quickly got over there….her 4-year-old cousin Ruthie has a broken collar bone,” Hite added.

The school’s headmaster called it a frightening day for the school.

“We know that some of the students have suffered broken bones, cuts, and are badly bruised. Others are still undergoing testing and evaluation…Please join me in a prayer of thanks to God for protecting the children and {the school bus driver} Mr. Bates, and let us all pray for their full and speedy recovery,” Headmaster Paul Zanowski said.

"When one of the children saw the vehicle getting ready to rear end the bus, they screamed and the children braced themselves,” Hite said.

A mother, who didn’t want to be identified, is a doctor, so when she arrived she joined in the effort to make sure the kids were OK.

"I just kind of triaged, kind of pointed to who was priority…Just helped like any other mom…It's a family. We all help each other,” she said.

The driver of the Container First Services truck, John R. Grizzard, 38, of Emporia, was uninjured and is charged with failure to maintain control of his vehicle.

A spokesperson for Container First Services says the company is concerned about the safety of everyone involved and will cooperate with state police as they investigate.

The Virginia State Police Motor Carrier Safety Team also responded to the scene.

The crash is still under investigation.

Kenston Forest School is a private school in Nottoway County.

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