• November 15, 2022

18 Students, Driver Injured in School Bus Crash on Rt 40 near Salyersville, KY

Salyersville, KY — November 14, 2022, 18 students and the driver were injured in a school bus accident on State Route 40 in Magoffin County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 7:30 a.m. along the highway near Mine Fork Road. Investigators believe the bus was headed toward Salyersville when it dropped partially off the edge of the pavement for unknown reasons. The driver over-corrected and the bus crossed through the roadway, ran down an embankment, and hit a utility pole. It then overturned on its passenger side, ejecting the driver and partially pinning them underneath.

Some students were able to exit the bus and climb up the embankment before rescue teams arrived. The rest of the students and the driver were extracted from the bus; all were then transported from the scene to area hospitals. Four students and the driver were said to have critical injuries.

The investigation is ongoing. No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Salyersville School Bus Accident on Route 40

It's concerning any time a vehicle goes out of control and people are hurt, but when a community's children are among the victims I know many parents want answers as quickly as possible. Obviously investigators must work to get to the bottom of what happened.

Some people may see the bus went out of control and quickly blame the driver, assuming they did something wrong at the wheel. It doesn't take long after most single-vehicle accidents for accusations of speeding or inattention to start flying, but that's unfair while police are still trying to learn the basic facts. For all anyone knows the bus had mechanical problems or blew a tire, or the driver might have suffered some kind of medical episode and lost control. Those might raise questions about the school district's vehicle maintenance and driver vetting practices, but they too must be investigated.

18 Students, Driver Injured in School Bus Crash on Rt 40 near Salyersville, KY

My point here is that it's always important to be careful and thorough when looking into these matters. Without looking carefully at all possible variables something unusual but important may slip through the cracks, and incomplete or inaccurate reports can only cause trouble down the road as victims and families search for answers.

I don't mean to turn a serious wreck into a lesson about careful investigation. I've just seen many accidents in which the wrong thing was blamed because investigators didn't have the time, equipment, or patience to thoroughly examine all the possibilities or extenuating circumstances. It's always best that everyone affected knows the whole story, so will they get it here?

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