Students released from hospitals after Dinwiddie school bus crash

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

DINWIDDIE, VA (WWBT) – Most of the students injured when their school bus overturned in Dinwiddie County are now home from the hospital. Nearly two dozen students complained of injuries.

Twelve went to Southside Regional Medical Center either by ambulance or with their parents. Four went to John Randolph Medical Center and one to VCU Medical Center. The bus driver is charged with reckless driving, police say they're still trying to find out why she lost control.

It was a phone call from this frightening scene that stopped Cutina Ligon in her tracks Friday. It came from her 16 year old daughter who was on board the Dinwiddie school bus that overturned and hit a tree near the high school.

"I was hysterical. I was in the grocery store, had a grocery cart of groceries, and I just left everything," said Ligon.

She drove straight to the crash site on Boisseau Road. Her 12 year old daughter was also on the bus.

"She's having trouble with her neck, and her right arm, and her left side," said Ligon.

State police say the driver, 35 year old Rae Cole of Sutherland, lost control and is now charged with reckless driving.

"The bus driver ran off the right side of the road she overcorrected came back across the left came back across to the right the bus was overturning on the left side and hit a tree," said Virginia State Police Sgt. Tom Molnar.

A teacher called 911. The 25 students from the middle, junior and high schools, helped each other out through the emergency door. More than a dozen were hurt, most came to Southside Regional Medical Center with injuries ranging from cuts and bruises to sprains.

"I think the students handled it very well under the circumstances," said David Clark, Acting Superintendent for Dinwiddie Schools.

Sgt. Molnar says investigators did not find anything mechanically wrong with the school bus.

"We're looking into every aspect as to why she ran off the right side of the road," said Sgt. Molnar.

Police say the bus driver also went to the hospital for a drug test and physical. No word on how long she's worked for the district or if she's ever been in an accident while on the job before.

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