Louisville students injured in bus crash after EKU visit

Associated PressJune 12, 2013 

LOUISVILLE — A bus carrying high school students home from a visit to Eastern Kentucky University veered out of control and crashed on Interstate 64 in Jefferson County on Tuesday, and nearly three dozen people were taken to hospitals, authorities said.

Thirty students from Waggener High School in Louisville were taken to hospitals with various injuries, as were four adults aboard the bus, including the driver, said Jody Duncan, a spokeswoman for Metro Safe, the emergency management agency for Louisville and Jefferson County.

The injured were taken to at least five hospitals and all were reported to be in stable condition by early Tuesday evening, said Barbara DiMecurio, director of emergency services at University of Louisville Hospital.

Norton Healthcare spokeswoman Maggie Roetker said 21 children were taken to three of its hospitals. Four remained hospitalized Tuesday night, she said.

Dr. Glen Franklin, a trauma surgeon at University Hospital, said 11 people were taken to University Hospital and nine were admitted, all in stable condition.

Police investigators were looking into possible mechanical failure on the bus as a cause, which could include tire trouble, said Louisville Metro Police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley.

The Courier-Journal's website showed video of the crash. A dashboard camera from a truck showed the bus veering left across three lanes of traffic and hitting a concrete median, leaving a trail of debris in the roadway.

The students on the bus will be juniors and seniors in the next school year, said Jefferson County Public Schools spokesman Ben Jackey. The adults aboard the bus included staff from Waggener.

The group was being transported by a charter bus service, Jackey said.

The crash occurred about 2:30 p.m. as the bus was headed west near the Jefferson-Shelby county line.

The students were participating in a program that gives them a chance to visit college campuses, Jackey said.

Jerry Wallace, director of communications for Eastern Kentucky University, said Waggener sent 72 students to campus on two buses Tuesday.

The students toured campus from 10:30 a.m. to noon, then ate lunch in Richmond and headed back to Louisville, he said.

The second bus carrying Waggener students was not involved in the crash, Jackey said.

Herald-Leader staff writer Karla Ward contributed to this report.

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