Approximately 16 students were checked for possible injuries by a school nurse Friday morning after the wheels of a Harlan County school bus, on which they were riding, dropped into a ditch line jolting the children. The bus was able to continue on its route. However, as a precaution, students were checked by the school nurse upon their arrival at James A. Cawood Elementary School.
Harlan County Schools Director of Transportation Joan Anderson said “the mishap occurred shortly after 7 a.m. on the Dayhoit Hollow Road when the driver was distracted by some students, at which time the wheels of the bus dropped off the pavement into a ditch line. The bus was able to continue travelling, reentered the highway and continued to the school.”
“I think the kids were more scared than anything,” said Anderson. “I can really understand it.”
At least three students were seen in the emergency room at Harlan Appalachian Regional Hospital later in the morning after being taken there by parents as a precautionary measure. Also, two students were seen in the offices of area primary care physicians. All were treated and released.
Bus Driver Josh Farmer was not injured. He was sent for the required drug and alcohol screening as required by state law. No drug or alcohol use is suspected in the incident.
Anderson said there were 27 students on the bus when the incident occurred.
Harlan County Schools Superintendent Mike Howard said he and Anderson alerted Safe Schools Director Jim Middleton to the incident who was involved with the investigation.