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Bus crash ends W.Va. senior trip

April 29, 2006|By ROBERT SNYDER

MARTINSBURG, W.VA.

A charter service bus driver was injured in an accident involving two tractor-trailer rigs in Fauquier County, Va., Thursday that brought to an early end a senior trip for a group of Morgan County, W.Va., high school students.

The accident, which occurred about 7:45 p.m. Thursday, happened when a bus carrying 47 students from Berkeley Springs High School on their way to Orlando, Fla., was struck by two tractor-trailers on U.S. 17 north of Fredericksburg, Va., according to Morgan County Schools Superintendent David Temple.

The driver of the bus, Terry Shoemaker, of Waynesboro, Pa., was transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital in Virginia following the accident, according to Shoemaker's employer, Wolf's Bus Lines owner Brad Wolf.

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Details of the accident, which happened near Va. 28 west of Bealeton, were unavailable.

Officials at the hospital would not release Shoemaker's condition, but Wolf said he had learned the driver, who has worked for the company for nearly 12 years, was injured in the accident and had surgery.

Two students and two of four adults, who had been chaperoning the students, were transported to a local hospital and later released, said Berkeley Springs High School Principal George Ward. Two of the adults were the school's assistant principal and guidance counselor.

All 47 of the students have returned home, Ward said.

"We're very thankful that we didn't have any catastrophes," said Ward, who commended the students for their cooperation following the accident.

The bus left the high school bound for Disney World about 6:00 p.m. Thursday and was scheduled to arrive home Sunday, said Temple. A second bus from the company was dispatched to Virginia to retrieve the students, who arrived in Morgan County about 1:45 a.m. Friday, the superintendent said.

"Under those conditions we certainly want to return the students," Temple said.

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