Several parents of students in Littlestown’s Rolling Acres Elementary School are not happy with how a bus accident was handled Thursday afternoon.

Two Littlestown School District buses collided in Maryland. Several students were injured and the buses left the scene before police arrived and students received medical attention, according to parents who were chaperoning the trip to third grade trip to Washington, D.C.

Lauren Nace, member of the Littlestown School Board, stated she was only aware than an accident had occurred and that the buses were returning with the students from a field trip to Washington, D.C.

John L. Warehime, Jr., president of the Littlestown School Board, said he was aware of the accident, and stated there were minor injuries, but he did not know exactly where the crash occurred.

“The stories just weren’t making much sense to me,” said Tim McCallister, whose 9-year-old was on the bus. “My main concern is if there is any kind of accident with kids, shouldn’t police and ambulances be called right away? Shouldn’t there be plans in place and, if so, why wasn’t it done?”.

A parent who was on the bus said one bus rear-ended the other. She was not entirely sure where in Maryland they were at.

“The bus was way too close to the bus on front,” said the parent, who asked that her name be held in confidence.

The parent said she was on the bus   that rear-ended another bus when it  slowed or stopped

She was not entirely sure which road they were on when the collision occurred. About 28 students were on her bus, she said.

“The students were wonderful, there was no screaming or yelling or anything like that,” the parent said.

Several students were injured, she said. One had a bloody nose, another lost a tooth and several sustained bruises.

As the chaperones were assessing the injuries, they were shocked as to what happened next.

“Before I knew it, the bus driver was back on the bus and we were back on the road,” she said.

McCallister said help was summoned by phone from someone on the bus at the scene of the collision, but “somebody then cancelled the call around 3:39 p.m.”

When the buses arrived back at the school, school nurses were the only medical personnel made available, the parent who was on the bus and asked not to be identified said.

“We were told by Dr. Wills that we had to stay on the bus,” she said.

Parents began to arrive at the school to pick their students up around 3:45 p.m., McCallister among them.

McCallister said the parents were then informed there had been an accident and were advised to wait inside the school until the bus arrived. 

“One of the teachers came out told all the parents to go into the school,” he said.  “We were told there had been a little minor accident, nothing serious, ann that it was in Frederick County.”

Everyone was told to sit on the bus and wait, with students only being allowed to leave the bus for bathroom breaks but also being told to immediately return.

“It was handled very poorly. Children should have aid rendered at the accident scene, if not at the school. There should have been ambulances there to assess them, other than the school nurses,” the woman said.

She was also not surprised the crash occurred.

“The driver was tailgating on the way there,” she said. “I was surprised an accident had not happened sooner.”

Dr. Donald Wills, school superintendent, was at the school when the buses arrived, the parent said. She was also very disappointed with how he handled the situation.

“He told them he was only going 20 miles an hour, which is not at all true,” she said.

The Times could not find a way to reach Wills Thursday evening.

The parent also said Wills told the parents they were responsible for determining if their child needed medical attention, and transporting them to the hospital.

According to a grandmother of a student, who also asked not to be identified, four or more of the injured students were transported by their parents to Gettysburg Hospital for treatment, while several others were transported by their parents to Hanover Hospitals.

Maryland State Trooper Sgt. Robert Fraley said his barracks was notified around 4:15 p.m. about the accident by Adams County 911.

Where the reported accident occurred, he said, is still under investigation.

“We’re still trying to determine the details and where it did happen,” Fraley stated.

“We’re not really sure exactly where it happened (at this point in the investigation),” he said.

Contact Alex at ahayes@gburgtimes.com; Rick at rfulton@gburgtimes.com.

(17) comments

anonymous

what a way to get a lawsuit started. The police should have been called, waited for medical help (teachers/parents are NOT trained medical people) What would have happened if one of the children went into shock?? Sounds to me like the bus driver that hit the other one was NOT paying attention and knew he was at fault. I don't know if I would want him to do any more driving. Children depend on adults to take them to and from places safely. IF you cannot pay attention, then don't drive. Thank God no one was seriously injured, what would have happened if that was the case? I hope the school has a good lawyer............they are going to need it.

EFFIE MAE

The actions of the drivers and school personnel involved was inexcuseable. What were they thinking? The parents should have stormed those buses and demanded that their children be released to them immediately. I cannot believe that they sat in the school and waited as instructed by school officials. Kudos to the parents who took their children to area hospitals for examination.

grampar

SOUNDS LIKE A MAJOR COVER-UP GOING ON ! THE DRIVER(S) NEED TO FACE CHARGES FOR LEAVING THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT, ETC. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING??? KIDS HAD INJURIES !!! NO MEDICAL ASSISTANCE ??? THE DISTRICT NEEDS TO ALSO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE ACTIONS OF THE DRIVERS THEY EMPLOY. THIS IS NOT AN ISSUE TO "SWEEP UNDER THE RUG" AND FORGET ABOUT IT.

Big Bertha

This does not surprise me with Littlestown schools but this is the last straw. Why do they think they are above the law, leaving the scene of an accident is a crime not to mention refusing medical attention to injured children. I for one will be getting my kids out of Littlestown schools as I don't feel my children are safe. Keep up the good work LSD!

adams resident

I am so glad my kids don't go to that school. The driver should of never left the scene of the accident and after the investigation there will be charges. I can't believe that he told the parents they were responsible to have the kids treated they were on school property and it is the drivers job to make sure the kids are safe. The school should of had ambulnaces waiting at the school when they found out that the bus was in an accident or told the drivers to stop and wait for the police and ambulances. Shame on the school district. I am glad it was only minor injuries and nothing major. The driver needs to be fired as they are not safe and making sure childrens safety comes first. But then again I am not suprised to much as a few years back a kid was knocked down the steps and the parents were called to take the child to the hosptial I guess they don't believe in calling the ambulance who are certified to take care of emergencies.

Maybe1

I would like to personally thank the teachers and nurses who stayed and helped. Hats off to them. Parents were very patient and respectful during the process. I for one am glad my children are in Littlestown!

EFFIE MAE

Maybe1............you are totally off the mark. Do not thank the teachers and nurses......they should have insisted upon immediate medical checks on those children and an ambulance crew on site? What is wrong with you? Had I been one of the parents, I would have removed my child from the bus and taken him/her to the ER or the family doctor just to ensure that there was no injury (symtoms of shock are often not immediately recognizable). The drivers were in error in continuing on without having a police investigation, and having their passengers checked out by medical personnel at the site of the accicent.. School officials were just plain WRONG in their reaction to the issue. Shame on Littlestown teachers and the superintendent. What were they thinking???

Maybe1

EFFIE MAE...sorry to disagree but teachers at Littlestown are wonderful and I for one will support them. It was an ACCIDENT...things happen and people make mistakes...TEACHERS THANK YOU!

Callie

Another mom told me today that the bus driver was back on her route this morning! Dr. Wills and Deb Brown have some explaining to do...

adams county

wow leaving the accident law suit!!!! and to have the driver back on today do they not have a saftey commitie that is just wrong #1 you need to report all accidents
#2 if there is injurys the driver needs to go for a pot accident drug test was that done aperintly not cauze they cant be back in the bus till the test comes back and its not that fast. # 3 you get medical attention right away not drive the whole way to littlestown then get it. Who told them to leave and come back home? or was that the drivers call WOW not good no mater how u look at it. The teachers in Littlestown may be good but this isint about the teachers its about bus drivers and the school system not handeling things the proper way. Lucky my kids werent invoved w/ this

Kojack

I agree it smells like a cover-up.

Insurance coverage the district has should be canceled for cause by the insurance company because of a hit and run. To add insult, a state line was crossed to avoid possible prosecution?

And who had the authority to cancel an e-911 call? "Federal interest computers" are definitely involved, me thinks!

And why were the kids "falsely imprisoned" aka "held against their will" on a bus - especially if their parents were not granted access when requested? Was it to make sure that all the "stories" would be the same? Possible "witness tampering" and "obstruction of justice" - maybe even "hindering an investigation"?

Why was a parent afraid of retaliation? Are PSSBA "persuaders" going to use their customary attacks so administrative "bacon" can be saved?

Com'on, parents - react to protect your kids. It is blatantly obvious to the blindest man that it is not about the kids being hurt - it is all about them being pawns for a few people's purposes (questionable at best)!!

Callie

The teachers are good but the administration is a whole other story.

As far as accidents go - they happen but you have procedures to follow when one does happen. Procedures were not followed yesterday and some laws may have been broken.

I'm upset but not mad that the accident happened but I'm thoroughly ticked that they didn't follow procedure, call the police, have medical personnel available for the children etc. That is totally unacceptable.

The letter that was sent home today about it is a total joke too. I sincerely hope that after their investigation is done that they follow up with us but I'm not holding my breath.

adams resident

The teachers that were not on the trip might be good but for the ones on the buses to not have the driver stop when children were hurt is wrong and shameful on them. The driver should have stayed stopped and waited for help to get to the children that needed it. Procedures need to be followed by all teachers included and they knew there was an accident and if I was a parent I would have asked for the ambulance to be called and have my child checked out, yes it was nice that the nurse of the school stayed to help but it should not have been the responsibility of the parents to take the kids to the hospital wonder how the driver would have felt if something happened to a student on the way to the hospital with the parents. The driver/s need to be put on leave until the investigation is complete and I still think charges will be filed since they did leave the scene of an accident with kids being hurt and not only left but crossed state lines. I hope all the kids are doing well today and some may be scared to ride the buses now is that how the kids should feel instead of feeling safe on school property.

Callie

The buses and drivers are employees of the school - the district owns their own buses and employs the drivers.

There was minor damage done to both of the buses. Broken lights, dents, and the safety arm on the back bus was damaged. This was more than just a little tap accident.

I spoke with two of the chaperones this morning and they said that they were still checking the kids when the drivers got back on the buses and pulled away. And the way they were thrown around, these parents know there weren't internal injuries how?

I also had an interesting e-mail this morning from a school bus driver telling me about another accident that happened a few years ago in the same district that was never reported to the authorities....

To make matters worse, I heard a mom (a nurse!) telling people this morning that this is being blown out of proportion because nobody was hurt and she is sure if soemthing happens again it will be reported. Glad she isn't my nurse however HER DAUGHTER was on the bus that was hit!

I guess I'm in the minority because I care about our children's safety. I'm not going to sit back and wait for one of them to be killed before I speak out about this! Some people need to get a clue!

busdriver

I'm very sorry to hear about the bus accident and hope the children, parents, teachers, and bus drivers are during well. I to drove bus at LSD but left the district due to the transportation director, Deb Brown. There has been a problem in this department for the last 4 to 5 years of GOOD drivers leaving LSD. Is this director really doing her job correctly? Maybe alittle short handed on drivers and putting warm bodies in the drivers seat? Yes, accident do happen but was this driver tail gating? How I understand the driver in bus 66 the second bus also drove the same trip the day before tailgating that driver also and that driver made complains to Mrs. Brown I feel both drivers should be left go due to leaving the scene of the accident and Deb Brown should be FIRED......

busdriver

LSD owns their buses. Who has the rights to make the call on IF medical attention is needed? When there is a accident with ANYONE injured call 911 period and NEVER leave a scene of a accident with injures............. I'm glad my kids were not on that bus.

mom 0f 2

My son was also on bus 66 that day, he was pretty banged up, his knee was bruised and swollen, neck pain, a bruise on his cheek bone, and a big knot on the side of his head. He was thrown to the floor during inpact. Later that night he was in a state of shock. I am very very upset with the way all of this was handled, it was a nightmare for us parents aswell, I hope no one ever has to go through what we all went through that day, the waiting, not knowing anything, if our children were amoung the injured or what. It was tourchor for everyone that day, my whole body trembled with fear & worrie. Not to mention having none of our questions answer, still to this day! I moved to this town because of the schools, and now I am ready to pull my kids and move on to a school that really care about our children, and would do everything in their best intrest to provide safty to our kids. I now have a big problem with the schools MOTTO.... Bolts dont bully.... then why is it we are now the one's being bullied! It is my right as a parent to know what all happend that day, and still we are the ones in the dark! The school district needs to fess up and tell us all what happend that day and how about a formal appoligy.Im mean really thats the least we all deserve. Just a last FYI.... I've also heard from 3 different little kids that the trip the day before the bus driver of number 66 pulled out infront of a tractor trailer, and was tailgating that day as well. Why are these driver still driving? Also why was no drug testing done? Any one with a CDL knows if there is an accident thats one of the very first thing done!

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