Driver injured in Pikeville school bus crash

A school bus driver sustained severe injuries and 29 students were taken to the hospital with less serious injuries after a bus crash in Pikeville on Monday afternoon, state police said.

Millard School had just let out for the afternoon, and the bus was eastbound on U.S. 460 when it was hit by a gravel truck at about 3:30 p.m., said Trooper Mike Goble. About 45 students were on board at the time, he said.

Pike County schools Superintendent Roger Wagner said 12 students were taken to Pikeville Medical Center by ambulance; an additional 17 were brought in by their parents. He said he expected all of them to be sent home Monday night.

The driver, Peggy Childers, 65, was taken by ambulance to a Lexington hospital with severe leg injuries, he said. Wagner said Childers has been a bus driver in Pike County for about 15 years.

The driver of the gravel truck, Kendall Slusher of Salyersville, was uninjured. He had been heading west when he lost control and crossed the center line, hitting the driver's side of the bus, Goble said. It was raining at the time of the crash, he said.

Wagner said the bus was loaded with elementary and middle school students. A 5-year-old girl was trapped due to damage to the barrier behind the bus driver's seat. Wagner said she had to be extricated but was not seriously injured.

"We were lucky with this," he said. "We're kind of blessed the way it turned out."