At about 9:25 a.m. Friday, Jan. 24, Ripley County Communications received a call about a two-vehicle crash involving a Batesville Community School Corp. bus and a 1998 Jeep Cherokee driven by a 17-year-old juvenile, reported Ripley County Sheriff Tom Grills. The crash happened on Evergreen Drive near State Road 229 south of Batesville.
Grills noted that as sheriff's Deputy Ryan McKittrick arrived on the scene, "evidence from the crash suggested the Jeep, being driven by the juvenile, was backing out of a private drive, failed to yield and struck the school bus as it passed by.
"The juvenile told the deputy as he applied the brakes to stop, he slid on the ice and snow-covered driveway and out into the roadway."
No school bus passengers were injured, "but it was reported a 14-year-old passenger in the Jeep suffered a minor cut to his head area, but was not transported to the hospital. He was released to a parent at the scene for treatment," according to the sheriff. The crash is still under investigation.
A letter from BCSC superintendent Dr. Jim Roberts was sent home to the parents of the 28 students who were riding on Bus 2, driven by Rhonda McQueen, 53, Laurel, when the incident occurred.
He explained that after the accident, "A spare bus was immediately dispatched to the scene of the accident so that students could be transferred and transported to school. Bus 2 remained at the scene in order for the police investigation to be completed."
Roberts told The Herald-Tribune there was one other bus incident this week. "Prior to picking up any students and on one of our back roads, a bus moved over to let a car by and became stuck in the snow. We replaced that bus with a spare one and proceeded on to pick up students."
Grills reminds citizens to use extra caution in the inclement weather as road conditions and driveways still remain slick and hazardous for travel.