The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

January 24, 2014

UPDATE: ‘Chain reaction’ causes 4-vehicle accident involving East school bus

2 students, 2 adults receive minor injuries; officials ask for caution in school zones

— A four-vehicle accident involving an East Limestone High School bus on Friday left two students and two adults with minor injuries and has prompted requests from school officials to ask drivers to use more caution in school zones.

Karen Tucker, spokeswoman for Limestone County Schools, described the accident as a “chain reaction” at the intersection of U.S. 72 and Blue Bird Lane approximately three miles from the high school.

State troopers said the accident occurred at 8:55 a.m., approximately four miles east of Athens.

Tucker said the bus had paused for a routine stop and a vehicle struck the rear end of the bus, causing two students to be treated at the scene for minor injuries and then released to their parents.

Two of the drivers also received minor injuries, including a pregnant woman. Both were treated and released at Athens-Limestone Hospital, said hospital spokeswoman Betsy Harris.

Troopers identified the injured school bus passengers as Anna Lafams, 15, of Madison and Donyar Ridley, 15, of Athens.

The driver of a 2003 Saturn, 27-year-old Keri Klepac of Athens, and the driver of a 2007 Dodge, 26-year-old Mary Woodward of Athens were both injured and wearing seat belts, according to troopers.

The 2006 Thompson bus, driven by Dorothy “Dot” Sims, was carrying 13 students at the time of the accident, according to school system Transportation Director Daryl Adams. Troopers said Sims was not injured.

The driver of the fourth vehicle, 18-year-old Andrew McNutt of Athens was not injured, according to the accident report.

Schools started two hours later on Friday due to the sub-zero wind chill advisory and the possibility school buses wouldn’t crank amid the freezing temperatures.

Stopping for buses

East Limestone Principal Dennis Black said this was only the second school bus accident involving an East Limestone bus in the past 10 years, but added there is an ongoing issue with distracted drivers causing safety issues for buses.

“On four-lane roads we are having issues as far as buses and the number of (drivers) who run our stop signs, and it’s more prevalent on Highway 72 where we do stop to pick up students,” he said. “We always have door-side pickup and never have them walking across 72. But whether drivers are text messaging, eating or talking, it is common for people to run our stop signs.”

Black asked for drivers in school zones to obey traffic rules and be mindful of what could happen if they do not focus on their surroundings.

“We were fortunate none of our kids or employees were injured, but our parents and other drivers out there have to be careful,” he said. “It’s hard to miss that big bus with the lights flashing. We just need greater awareness of our community and parents of the importance of stopping for buses and being prepared to stop.”

Text Only
Local News
Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee