Bus crash

     Only one student remained in the hospital as of 9 a.m. Wednesday morning after a bus rolled Tuesday afternoon near Richfield with 39 Carey junior high students.

     Blaine County School District Superintendent GwenCarol Holmes said the remaining hospitalized student is expected to be released later today. Several other students returned to school this morning, she said, along with siblings that attend the same school.

     "Everybody's extremely grateful and a little emotional," Holmes said in a call from Carey.

     The cause of the accident is still under investigation. The Idaho State Police reported that Richard Mecham, 67, was driving west on U.S. Highway 26 when he drove off the right shoulder, over-corrected and rolled the vehicle. The State Police said in a press released that the driver was unharmed but 12 students were taken to nearby hospitals, five via helicopter and seven by ambulance. 

     Blaine County School District spokeswoman Heather Crocker said the students were transported to St. Luke’s Wood River, St. Luke’s Magic Valley and other hospitals in Jerome, Gooding and Pocatello.

     Holmes said district staff went to all hospitals, staying there until every student was either admitted or released Tuesday night. Two students remained at hospitals at 9 p.m. Tuesday, according to the district, but one was released later that night. Holmes said the injuries forcing the last two students to remain at the hospital involved a laceration that needed stitches and a student with a head injury who was kept for observation.

     Holmes said police took the rolled bus and are using it in the investigation, which may take several weeks. She said the bus driver is home and will not be driving for the district until an investigation is complete.

     Holmes said the students were on their way to a track meet in Gooding when the bus rolled. Carey planned on hosting the region’s final junior high track meet –called the Ribbon Meet— next week, she said. The school still plans to host the meet, Holmes said, but added that “we don’t know if some or any of our students will participate.”

Email the writer: mbeck@mtexpress.com

Load comments