Burke Co. Middle School students describe bus accident

By: Hope Jensen Email
By: Hope Jensen Email

News 12 at 11 o'clock / Saturday, May 19, 2012

WAYNESBORO, Ga. -- A school bus accident Saturday morning involving six Burke County school buses sent 60 people to the hospital. Many of those were students.

Those not hurt in the accident returned to Burke County Middle School on Saturday evening to be reunited with their parents.

There were a lot of mixed feelings as the students returned to our area.

Parents were upset and kids were frightened, but all were relieved. Cars filled the parking lot at Burke County Middle School as parents anxiously awaited the return of their children.

"[I'm] just hoping he's OK even though they say he is and ready for him to get home," said parent Shera Owens.

Parents started arriving at the school mid afternoon after they heard about the accident.

"I said, 'What happened?' He said, 'I dunno, I seen the bus go off the road and then my bus hit the bus in the front and then I don't know what they're gonna do,'" said parent Monica Soto. "Teacher didn't call me, school didn't call me. Teacher called me at 3. School called me around 3:30 to 4."

That message said the students would be back around five and a little after six, those buses finally rolled in.

"It was like a day that I just wanted to get back to Waynesboro," said student Alliyah Habersham.

Isaiah and Kiara Soto were celebrating their birthday and taking their first trip to Six Flags, but it wasn't quite the day they imagined.

"One of the kids got a broke rib and a sprained neck and everybody just started crying after that," Isaiah said.

"It was nerve-wracking and really scary," Kiara said.

For Isaiah, it left a lasting impression.

"I'm scared to get back on the bus right right now," he said. "I'm real scared."

Many parents, including Monica Soto, were frustrated by the lack of communication from the school.

"If you can call me and let me know it's a non-emergency message, you can call me and let me know this was going on and we'll call you with more information," she said.

Now that they're children are home safe, they just hope those injured students get well soon.

"I was really relieved that most of my friends and most of the people on the buses were OK," Kiara said.

The 60 injured children were taken to area hospitals. Their parents had to drive down and pick them up.

We tried to talk with the superintendent and the principal, but neither was available for comment. We did talk with a school representative throughout the day, but the information she was able to give us was very limited to he details of the crash.

They are planning to reschedule the trip, but many students and parents were unsure whether or not they would go.


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