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SUV hits school bus

by Jennifer Biller

STAFF WRITER

ANMOORE -- A school bus carrying 49 students from Johnson Elementary School in Bridgeport was involved in an accident on snow and ice covered roads Thursday morning.

Harrison County School Bus 157 was traveling east on Route 58 when a 1987 Chevy Blazer traveling west slid into the bus, said Deputy Tige Pratt of the Harrison County Sheriff's Department.

Although none of the students, bus driver or two teachers aboard appeared to be seriously injured, they all were taken to United Hospital Center as a precaution, according to Victor Gabriel, county administrative assistant for transportation.

The 16-year-old female passenger in the Blazer was also taken to UHC, after her head struck the Blazer's windshield, Pratt said. The driver, her 18-year-old brother, was not injured in the accident, he added.

The students were en route to Johnson after leaving Robert C. Byrd where the play they were going to attend was canceled.

"The paramedics indicated that there doesn't appear to be any serious injuries but the kids are shaken up," Gabriel said.

The accident closed down Route 58 for more than four hours following the accident.

The bus was equipped with chains at the time of the accident and both vehicles were traveling at a slow speed.

The snow storm began late in the morning after students throughout the county had already been taken to school.

"We made the decision not to dismiss school early while the roads were in such bad condition ... we didn't want to send them home on the bad roads," Gabriel said. "The National Weather service said it was going to let up this afternoon."

The accident remains under investigation, Pratt said.

Staff writer Jennifer Biller can be reached at 626-1449 or jbiller@exponent-telegram.com.

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