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Bus driver dies after being pinned between vehicles

March 25, 2006|By DON AINES

SHIPPENSBURG, PA.

A school bus driver died of injuries she sustained Friday morning when she was pinned between two buses during a scheduled school bus evacuation drill at James Burd Elementary School on Brad Street.

Sharon K. Harry, 55, of 1007 Orrstown Road, died at Hershey (Pa.) Medical Center, a hospital spokeswoman said. She had been flown to the hospital by Life Lion helicopter following the 8:33 a.m. accident, Shippensburg Fire Chief Jamie White said.

Harry was the driver of Bus 85 and employed by Lee McBeth & Sons, according to a news release from the Shippensburg Area School District.

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Deborah Westover, business administrator for the school system, said that Lee McBeth & Sons is under contract to provide buses for the school system.

"I was advised she was between the buses and something happened that caused the bus behind hers to move forward," White said.

Harry was pinned between the buses, but was on the ground receiving medical attention by the time White arrived, he said.

Westover said she did not know if any children saw the accident.

The school district release also stated that six students on the buses had been injured and taken to area hospitals and that all but one later had been released. White, however, said the number of injured students was seven, with five being taken to Chambersburg (Pa.) Hospital and two to Carlisle (Pa.) Hospital.

"Bumps and bruises. All of them were very minor in nature," White said of the injuries to the children.

Harry was behind Bus 85 when Bus 55 moved forward and pinned her, White said. The impact forced Bus 85 into Bus 74, he said.

The buses were full of students at the time of the accident, White said. All of the injured students were on Bus 55 and Bus 85, he said.

The district news release stated the accident occurred during a scheduled school bus evacuation drill. White said Pennsylvania State Police were called in to do an accident reconstruction to determine the cause.

Westover said the school operated on a normal schedule Friday.

Jacqueline Lesney, the school system's superintendent, would not comment Friday. She handed the phone to Westover, who answered some questions.

A woman who answered the telephone Friday afternoon at Harry's home said the family did not wish to comment at that time.

Staff writer Pepper Ballard contributed to this story.

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