A 63-year-old Knox County woman remained in critical condition at a Lexington hospital Thursday morning after falling out of a moving school bus.
Sueanne Sizemore, a bus monitor for the Knox County Public Schools, was injured about 4 p.m. Wednesday when she fell from the bus on Ky. 380 in the Gray community, Kentucky State Police said.
According to the Harlan state police post, William Reeder was driving the bus when a clipboard, which had been stored under the dash, fell onto the stairs at the front exit of the vehicle.
Sizemore left her seat and stepped into the stairwell to retrieve the clipboard.
Reeder glanced over to see that Sizemore didn't lose her footing, momentarily taking his eyes off the road, according to state police. When Reeder looked back, he realized that the bus was about to strike some mailboxes and swerved to avoid them.
The sudden maneuver caused Sizemore to lose her balance and fall into the closed doors, which opened, police said.
Troopers said Sizemore struck the pavement and rolled into a ditch unconscious.
She was flown to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, where a spokesperson said she was in critical condition Thursday morning.
The bus was traveling from Lynn Camp Elementary School to Lynn Camp Middle-High School when the accident occurred, and students were on board, according to the Knox County Schools.
"Due to the likelihood of a child being injured," police said, the bus door system is designed so only 43 pounds of pressure is required to force the doors open without using the operating lever, police said. Once the pressure is removed, the doors automatically close again.
The accident remains under investigation.