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Bus, car collide

One student, driver of station wagon sent to hospital

One student, driver of station wagon sent to hospital

November 04, 2003|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

A station wagon collided with a school bus carrying students from Boonsboro schools Monday afternoon, sending one student and the driver of the station wagon to the hospital.

Maryland State Police Trooper Andrew Smith said neither of those taken to the hospital had life-threatening injuries.

The crash occurred on Maryland Route 66/Mapleville Road at 3:58 p.m. when a Volvo station wagon and a school bus carrying Boonsboro Middle and High School students collided head-on, on a narrow straightaway.

Washington County Public Schools spokeswoman Carol Mowen said the bus carried 19 students from the two Boonsboro schools, along with the driver and an adult assistant who aides a handicapped student.

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Smith said the student was taken to the hospital for treatment of minor neck pain.

He said the driver of the Volvo, John Anastasi, 40, of 5107 Toyer Road in Keedysville, was flown by helicopter to Washington County Hospital for treatment of injuries to his face, neck, back and leg.

A Washington County Hospital spokeswoman said Anastasi was at the hospital Monday night but she could not find a condition listed for him.

Mowen said the student taken to the hospital was a Boonsboro High School student, but would not release the student's identity. Information about the student's condition could not be obtained Monday night.

Smith said no other injuries were reported.

Smith said the station wagon driven by Anastasi crossed the center line of the road and collided with the school bus. The Volvo also struck an unoccupied 1994 Mazda truck that was parked in front of 8226 Mapleville Road, he said.

Anastasi was charged with negligent driving, Smith said.

Bus driver Dwayne Olden attempted to swerve to avoid the crash, Smith said.

"You can tell by the fence, but he was unable to avoid the impact," he said.

Although residents said the stretch of road there has long been hazardous because of speeding drivers, Smith said speed was not a factor in Monday's crash.

"I have a witness that was behind him that said he was going about 30 miles per hour," he said. "I believe he (Smith) possibly fell asleep. He doesn't remember what happened."

Anastasi was trapped in the station wagon and was freed by rescuers, police said.

"The vehicle was wrapped around him pretty good," Smith said.

As firefighters worked to clean up debris, including mangled metal and broken glass from the station wagon, parents arrived to take home their children, who had been evacuated from the bus.

Mowen said students evacuated the bus in approximately three minutes and waited in the yard of a nearby resident.

"I brought them all into the yard and let them call their parents," Mapleville Road resident Joyce Turner said. "They were excited. They were just very upset."

Cheryl Yeagy, who lives across the street from Turner, said the impact shattered what had been a quiet day in the neighborhood.

"I heard the crash and just saw him spinning off and the school bus sliding this way (toward the side of the southbound lane)," Yeagy said.

Yeagy and other residents said they worry about the safety of residents, especially children in the area, because of the frequency of crashes.

"It really irks you," Yeagy said. "I used to ride my bike and walk on this road. Now, I'm afraid to go to get the mail."

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