KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Charges could come down Friday against the driver involved in a hit-and-run crash involving a school bus in Kansas City.
The driver who smashed into the bus, toppling it over onto its side, was arrested Thursday night after a four-hour search. Police officers found him just six blocks away in the 7200 block of Bales Street. A family member tipped off police to let them know the man was hiding in a house on that street.
Once police tracked him down, paramedics loaded the man onto a stretcher and into an ambulance. Police said the man was in shock and had a broken hand.
The crash happened near 67th and Askew. Amazingly, five elementary students from Success Academy School, along with an aide and bus driver, escaped with just a few bruises. The bus driver and aide guided the students out of the hatch on the top of the bus.
Darius, a 10-year-old student, described the frightening moments after the crash. “I was sitting in the seat and all I felt was me flying over to the other side of the bus and then my friend helped me up and carried me out."
Maureen Richmond, a spokesperson for First Student Bus Company, said the driver and monitor on board followed safety procedures perfectly. They were able to evacuate the students within minutes and get them to the side of the road even before emergency crews made it to the scene.
Richmond explained each driver and monitor is required to complete 42 hours of classroom and behind the wheel training before they ever pick up any students. The employees learn how to operate a 70 passenger vehicle, as well as how to escape the bus in an emergency.
“The hope is that you won’t have to use any of those trainings, but if our employees do, they’re prepared and they’ve gone through it” Richmond explained, adding that both the driver and the aide were relatively new to the company.
Although those employees and the children were shaken after Thursday’s crash, Richmond says the evacuation was smooth.
“We are very proud of their actions and we are just so grateful for the outcome. We’re so grateful that everyone is okay”, she explained.
The car also snapped a utility pole knocking out power to hundreds of homes for about two hours following the crash.
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