A school bus accident has claimed the life of a Nashport Elementary School student. 6-year-old Kasey King of Frazeysburg left for school this morning, got on the bus, and never made it back home.
It’s the day before the Tri-Valley School District was supposed to break for summer vacation. Nashport Elementary School was celebrating Field Day, with planned games and activities, but a tragic accident along State Route 60 just after 8 a.m. in Nashport cut the fun short.
Zanesville Post Commander, Lieutenant Steven Rine, of the Ohio State Highway Patrol says the cause of the crash is under investigation.
"What we know right now is that the bus went off the right side of the roadway and overturned, " says Rine.
He says in the process the bus also took out a utility pole.
Trooper Wesley Archer was the first on the scene and says he had two major concerns.
"Basically any threat to life, if anybody needed tended to their injuries, and also getting traffic stopped, " says Archer.
"Some of the kids, when Sergeant Merryman arrived on the scene at 8:38 a.m., they were being pulled off the bus. They walked out on their own accord. There were about 3 that were trapped. The EMS and fire personnel did an excellent job getting them extracted from the vehicle, " says Rine.
The bus driver, Carol Oler, was pulled from the vehicle and taken by Medflight to Grant Medical Center in Columbus, where she was listed in critical but stable condition this afternoon. Officials at Grant say Oler was released from the hospital shortly after 3 p.m.
Six students were taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Zanesville. Five of those students were treated for minor injuries and then released to their parents, but Genesis Corporate Communications did say a sixth student was transportated to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus.
6-year-old Kasey King wasn’t as lucky though. A trooper at the scene says crews did find Kasey near the front of the bus.
"Anytime there’s a traffic crash fatality, whether it be an adult, juvenile, or child, it’s always difficult to come out and do the investigation, " says Rine.
"It’s probably one of the more difficult aspects of our job, " says Archer.
The Coroner’s Office is investigating the cause of death.
Troopers did notify the parents of all the students involved.
Nashport Elementary School resumed classes as normal today, but parents were allowed to come pick-up their children as needed.
School officials had grief counselors at school today to help the children deal with this tragedy.
This is the first school bus death in Ohio in 40 years.