KCEOC second bus accident in two days

Knox County Sheriff's Deputy Claude Hudson checks out the damage to the KCEOC bus on Henson Hollow Road Thursday afternoon.  Photo by Bobbie Poynter
Knox County Sheriff’s Deputy Claude Hudson checks out the damage to the KCEOC bus on Henson Hollow Road Thursday afternoon.
Photo by Bobbie Poynter

A second KCEOC bus accident in as many days took place Thursday afternoon on Henson Hollow Road in Barbourville. Witnesses say the bus driver was attempting to turn the bus around in a driveway that crossed a culvert when the soft ground gave way and the back right wheel went off the roadway and was lodged between the culvert tile and the road’s shoulder.

The bus was carrying 10 preschoolers and a bus monitor.

School officials report there were no visible injuries; however, as in school protocol, everyone on the bus was taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure.

According to Henson Hollow Road resident Tony Meritt, this is the second KCEOC bus accident on his road this school year.

“We had another bus go into a ditch further up the road as it turned on my hill,” he said. It was early in the morning and there weren’t any kids on the bus. The bus ended up with both wheels in the ditch. But then, if I remember right, the weather caused the roads to be pretty soft at that time.”

The Smith family owns several homes on the property across the road from where the bus driver turned around. Nannie Mae Smith, of the homeowners, says she’s not surprised that this has happened.

“This bus been turning around in our driveway for the last couple of weeks and has come close to missing the turn on more than one occasion,” said Smith. “I’m not surprised this happened. We’ve been asking the Fiscal Court to extend the tiles under the driveways for a year now. Because of the really bad weather we’ve had recently, the ground’s eroded away quite a bit.”

Johnny Smith’s Auto Repair out of Flat Lick was dispatched both days to pull the buses back onto their respective roads.

“The bus on Johnson Hollow took us nearly two hours because we had to be particularly careful not to let the bus topple over,” said David Smith.

Righting the bus on Henson Hollow Road, on the other hand, took only a few minutes.

“The frame of this bus was sitting right on the asphalt,” he explained. “but we got it out with a minimum of damage to either the bus or the road.”