Update: Kids Healthy, Back in School After Freeman Bus Tips Over

By: 10/11 News Email
By: 10/11 News Email

Friday, a Freeman school bus tipped over and no one called 911. Now school officials explain why and tell 10/11 how they plan to make changes.

Freeman School officials admit they made some mistakes. Now they're trying to figure out how they can prevent them from happening again.

A typical bus ride home for seven Freeman students quickly became anything but typical. Their driver lost control on a mushy, dirt road, slid the bus into a ditch and tipped over.

He couldn't find a cell phone signal to make a call so he checked to see if anyone was hurt. When he didn't find any students injured, he walked to the top of a hill and called the parents at the next stop on his route.

The students left with those parents.

That's where the bad decisions began.

"After I got off the phone with the driver, the next call was to law enforcement which by the way, was a mistake. My first call should have been to emergency medical services," said Randy Page, Freeman Superintendent.

Page told police the crash didn't appear bad and not to send an ambulance.

By the time deputies arrived at the crash scene, no one, not even the driver, could be found.

"In thirty years of working, I've never seen a situation handled this way. I've never even heard of it handled this way," said Deputy Randall Muhm, Johnson County Sheriff's office.

Now, Page realizes he should have reacted differently.

"Our goal is to do a fantastic job in everything we do. That didn't happen Friday. But we'll work so that happens if there is a next time," Page said.

That work started first thing Monday morning. Officials held a transportation committee meeting. The group pinpointed areas that need to be changed.

"Put the kids in a safe situation and have them checked out. As well as have better communication with the parents of the kids," Page said.

Page and the bus driver spent the rest of Monday talking to parents, admitting where they went wrong and hearing feedback on how to get it right.

Luckily, all seven students are healthy and were back in school Monday. The bus driver wasn't injured and completed his usual route.

The Johnson County Attorney will decide whether or not to file charges against the driver.


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