Semi Slams Into Oklahoma School Bus, 2 Students Seriously Injured

March 12, 2009

A semi truck smashed into a school bus that was slowing to drop off students on Mar. 10 afternoon, injuring six young people, two seriously, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said.

The accident happened on Oklahoma 70 near Bokchito, 15 miles east of Durant, about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. The bus spun and overturned after it was hit.

“The semi driver following the bus … did not stop and struck the rear end of the bus,” Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. George Brown said.

Three of the students were ejected from the rear of the school bus, including two who were seriously injured and immediately airflighted to a Dallas hospital, the OHP reported.

The two students flown to Parkland Hospital after the accident, 16-year-olds Chase Thompson and Jennifer Russell, both were listed in serious condition. A hospital spokeswoman said Tuesday night she could not provide an update on the students’ condition.

Another student, 6-year-old Bryar Thompson, was taken to a local hospital and later flown to Children’s Hospital in Dallas, the OHP reported. He was listed in stable condition.

Three other children with less serious injuries were treated at Medical Center of Southeast Oklahoma in Durant: Justin Fults, 6; Roni Fults, 9; and Frank Owens, 16. Owens, who also was thrown from the bus, was treated and released.

The bus was carrying students from Rock Creek Public Schools, all of whom were from Bokchito.

The driver of the bus, 36-year-old Bradley McKnight of Durant, was treated and released from Southeast. The driver of the semi, 34-year-old David Lee White of Lewisville, Texas, wasn’t injured, the patrol reported.

Brown said the bus driver was slowing to unload children and had pulled the stop sign and activated its lights. The patrol report indicates both vehicles were eastbound, and that the semi swerved to avoid the bus before striking the left rear side and spinning it around.

The highway was closed after the accident.

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