Eleven students were taken to an Elkhart hospital after a Baugo school bus rear-ended a semi-tractor trailer Wednesday morning.
It happened at around 8:45 a.m. at the corner of Hively Avenue and Nappanee Street.
All 11 injured students were assessed, treated and released by Wednesday afternoon. Many spent the day at school.
Bus 5 was carrying 47 students from Jimtown Intermediate and Jimtown Elementary schools at the time of the crash. The uninjured students were taken to school on a replacement bus.
Parents are split on how the district handled the situation.
"I feel like this needs to be addressed in a meeting. I feel like the community needs to be involved. I feel like we need to put policies and procedures in place so that something like this doesn't happen again," Dawn Miller, whose daughter was on the bus, said.
Wendy LaRue Corl, whose son was taken to the hospital, said she thought the district was "calm and professional and made the correct decisions with what they had to deal with."
The district maintains that student safety is their top priority.
"The school system takes the situations like this and the safety of the students extremely seriously. Safety is the number one priority within our school system," said Jeff Ziegler/Director of Operations/Student Services.
Elkhart Police are investigating.
Baugo Community Schools released the following statement Wednesday afternoon
Baugo Community Schools would like to release the following information to parents, media and the general public regarding a bus accident that happened at approximately 8:45 am on 3-7-2018.
Baugo Community Schools bus #5 was bringing elementary and intermediate aged students to school when the bus was involved in an accident on SR 19 near the intersection with Hively Avenue. The resulting collision prompted an immediate call to 911 as well as school district personnel. Administration from our Central Office along with both Jimtown Elementary and Jimtown Intermediate School principals headed to the scene of the accident. The school nurses accompanied the principals to help assist with any medical needs.
The school nurse along with Elkhart County EMT’s began the process of assessing any potential injuries of the students. Out of an abundance of caution, eleven Jimtown students were transported by ambulance to Elkhart General Hospital for further evaluation. School administrators rode on the ambulances with the students to comfort them and act on their behalf until parents could get to the hospital. Several parents were actually on scene at the hospital before their children arrived.
Health professionals at Elkhart General assessed, treated and ultimately released all eleven of our students from the hospital into the custody of their parents. Many of students returned to school and continued their day as normal. The parents of all of the students on the bus (regardless of whether they went to the hospital or not) were contacted via phone call to inform them of the accident.
Since safety is our number one priority when it comes to our students, we will continue to review details of this event and take appropriate steps to make certain that our students are safe. We will have extra counseling services on hand at both schools in the coming days to assist with any students who have been impacted by this accident and may need some extra support.
We are so grateful to the professionals in our schools, the city and county police forces and all of the first responders who acted quickly with empathy and respect. School personnel acted quickly and professionally, as they have been trained to do in these sort of scenarios. Thank you so much for your support as we continue to focus on the safety of all of the kids entrusted to our care.