shattered glass: After a Dallas County bus driver was blinded by the sun on the morning drive to Keith High School, the bus went into the shop with a shattered windshield, broken rearview mirror and a dent in the side from a tree. The bus skidded off of Dallas County Road 3 at 7:30 a.m. Monday. -- Ashley Johnson

Four students suffer minor injuries in morning bus accident

Published 9:34pm Monday, November 26, 2012

By Katie Wood and Ashley Johnson

The Selma Times-Journal

ORRVILLE — Alabama State Troopers are continuing to investigate an accident involving a Dallas County school bus that sent four students to Vaughan Regional Medical Center.

According to the Troopers, the school bus, which was traveling on Dallas County Road 3, near Salem Elementary School, left the road and struck a tree. The accident occurred around 7:30 a.m.

One driver and 11 students were on the bus at the time of the accident. The students were headed to Keith Middle and High School, four were sent to Vaughan Regional Medical Center with minimal injuries, just as a precautionary measure, Superintendent Dr. Fannie Major-McKenzie said.

“We are so thankful. You always hate that things like these happen, but I am just thankful the injuries were minimal,” Major-Mackenzie said. “But again, we are being precautionary because we want to make sure the kids are in fact OK.”

She said the students who were admitted to the emergency room were complaining of pain in their shoulders, their knees and one student had a small bump or bruise.

Allen Shelton, transportation supervisor for the school system said they are awaiting the report from the state troopers but knows the bus damage is minor.

“This is minor we should be able to do an assessment on the bus and in time we should be able to put it back on the road,” Shelton said. “The front light on the passenger side broke, the side of the front windshield shattered and there was some damage to the front bumper — that is basically it, nothing serious.”

Bus driver Sabrina Carson said she was blind sided by the sun when winding on the curvy road.

“It’s a lot of curves on that road and the sun was coming over the top of those trees,” Carson said. “When [the sun] hits, it’s like you just see white and you have other cars and stuff coming in the other lane, so I didn’t want to go too far on their lane and the back tire caught in the grass on the road.”

She said once she hit the brakes and tried to ease around the curve, the bus turned sideways. The front bumper hit the road bank and the back, passenger side of the bus hit a tree, leaving a soccer ball-sized dent.

“The first thing I did was check on the kids,” Carson said, whose daughter was also in the back of the bus and one of the four students taken to the hospital. “I just threw the bus in neutral and wanted to check on everybody and make sure they were OK. The kids were all checking on each other.”

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