Pembroke Hill School bus overturns in Bonner Springs; at least 20 injured

BONNER SPRINGS, Kan. - A school bus full of sixth grade girls overturned on the ramp from K-7 to K-32 in Bonner Springs, Kan., on Wednesday.

The ramp to K-32 was closed, but reopened just after 4 p.m.

Trooper Howard Dickinson said it looked like the bus lost control on the curve on the ramp and went off the roadway. It then slid down an embankment and ended on its side.

The bus driver was identified by Highway Patrol on Wednesday night as 66-year-old Elmer Scott Jr.

Dickinson said most of the students were able to get off the bus on their own, but witnesses stopped to help the students.

The bus was from Pembroke Hill School in Kansas City, Mo. Sixth graders were headed to a two-night campout at Tall Oaks Campground. The district had two buses headed to the annual orientation campout. The campground is about nine miles west of where the bus crashed.

"It's obviously been a great concern to Pembroke Hill. We're a community. We've been concerned about letting parents know that their children are safe And getting out the word about how to get their children," said Elizabeth McKinley Tuttle, of the Pembroke Hill Communications office.

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At least 20 people were taken to area hospitals. Overland Park Regional Medical Center had five patients, including the bus driver. Children's Mercy had four patients, but expected all of them to be sent home today. Providence Medical Center treated five patients, and all injuries there were minor. University of Kansas Hospital treated nine patients. All of KU's patients are considered to be in fair condition.

Authorities do not expect anyone to have major injuries in the crash, but said some had head and neck injuries.

Non-injured students were taken to Bonner Springs High School. Officials said parents should go there to pick up their students. Parents had to have a photo ID with them to pick up children.

The school sent out the following message to parents:

"We have learned that the girls on the 6th grade bus to the campout will be taken to Bonner Spring High School, where parents will need to pick them up, at 100 McDanield St., Bonner Springs, 66012. There are several girls who have been taken to the hospital with noncritical injuries. The parents of these children will be called by the middle school."

Pembroke Hill School officials said 30 girls were on the bus along with teachers and other adults.

The school also says counseling is available to children and parents.

Stay with for updates as they become available.

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