Authorities Say School Bus Drove Through Water Over Bridge

By: WIBW/KAKE (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
By: WIBW/KAKE (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
KAKE-TV

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(WIBW/KAKE) - Authorities say up to two feet of water was flowing over the bridge from which a school bus fell into a Butler County creek Thursday.

Ten children and the driver were on the bus at the time of the accident on a dirt road near Douglass.

The Kansas Highway Patrol says its investigation continues, but officials say it appears a wheel caught the lip of the bridge and the rushing water pushed the bus over the edge, causing it to topple on its side.

With up to four feet of water rushing into the bus, KHP says the students, with instructions from the bus driver, who was trapped, got out of the side emergency door. The older students guided the younger children and all waited on top of the bus for rescue crews to arrive.

None of the children was injured. Crews extricated the driver. He is identified as 64-year-old Morris Peterson. Peterson remained hospitalized at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita in fair condition. Officials say he suffered minor cut and bruises and hypothermia.

Towing crews worked throughout the day Friday to get the bus upright and pull it from the water.

Authorities say the water in the creek was flowing more quickly and at a higher level due to recent rains. KPH says the accident is a prime of example of why drivers should never drive through rushing water.

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