Catoosa School Bus Driver Injured When Bus Hits Tree

Friday, September 11th 2009, 9:04 am
By: News On 6

By Craig Day, The News On 6

CATOOSA, OK - It was a scary ride to school for some northeast Oklahoma elementary students.  A Catoosa school bus ran off a county road on the way to school on Friday morning.  It happened along 31st Street at 287th East Avenue just inside Wagoner County.  The wreck was a scary moment for students, parents, and even one firefighter who arrived on the scene.

The Catoosa bus had 43 kids on board, when the back right wheel of the bus went off the side of the road.

"The witness stated the bus driver did an excellent job when her right rear dually got off to the right side of the edge of the road.  It shot the bus hard to the left," said Catoosa Schools Police Chief Kevin McKim.

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The driver, 61-year-old Marsha Boyles, avoided a telephone pole, but the bus plowed through a fence and slammed into a tree.  Nine students had bumps and bruises, the rest were fine.

The school bus accident was an alarming moment for many parents who are now relieved there aren't any serious injuries.  But, it was also alarming for one of the first responders who arrived on the scene moments after the wreck.

Oak Grove Fire Department volunteer Steve Baldwin says when he arrived to help, he didn't know his 10- year-old brother and six-year-old sister were on the bus.

"I walked up and the first second I saw them, I went straight over to them, gave them a big hug and they started crying on me," said Steve Baldwin with the Oak Grove Fire Department.

The school district was able to get in touch with about half of the children's parents.  The rest boarded another bus and were taken to the Catoosa Schools Administration Office until their parents could be notified. 

As for Steve Baldwin, he's thankful none of the kids were seriously hurt.  As soon as he finished at the scene, he headed home to spend some time with his little brother and sister.

"It just hits home.  It's one of those things you really don't want to have to do is make a call on a kid," said Steve Baldwin with the Oak Grove Fire Department.

The driver of the bus was the only person taken to the hospital.   She had a cut on her head that required stitches.