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Power truck hits school bus

4 hospitalized

February 25, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

FAYETTEVILLE, Pa. -- Three children and an Allegheny Power truck driver were taken to hospitals Wednesday morning after the truck struck a stopped school bus in the 3300 block of Mont Alto Road in Guilford Township, Pa., officials said.

Pennsylvania State Police said the Allegheny Power lift truck struck the rear of the bus as it was stopped to pick up children. After impact, the vehicles traveled about 180 feet, leaving a trail of oil and debris, until both came to rest facing north within the northbound lane, police said.

There were 46 Fayetteville Elementary School students on the district-owned bus, said Sylvia Rockwood, the district's director of information services.

The employee, identified by state police as Jeffrey Lynn Kriner, 46, of Chambersburg, Pa., was life-flighted to the trauma center at York (Pa.) Hospital, where a hospital spokeswoman said he was in satisfactory condition.

Allegheny Power spokesman Doug Colafella said Kriner, a serviceman, was en route to a service call when his vehicle collided with the bus. Police said he was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

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Dan Reed, chief of the Mont Alto Fire Department, on Thursday disputed reports that Kriner was walking after the accident.

Reed said that although he was speaking to rescue personnel, he was not walking.

Reed noted that Kriner had to be cut out of the wreckage.

The school bus driver, identified as Veron C. Bachman Jr., 67, was not injured and was wearing a seat belt, state police said.

Gabrielle Furry, whose two children were waiting to get on the bus, said the bus was stopped with its doors open and her son was within a foot of stepping onto the bus when the truck struck it, pushing it down the street.

Her son, Caleb Holden, 9, was unharmed, however, three children on the bus were transported to area hospitals with injuries.

Chambersburg Hospital received one child and Waynesboro (Pa.) Hospital received two children. The child taken to the Chambersburg Hospital emergency department was being treated for minor injuries. The two children taken to the Waynesboro Hospital emergency department were treated for minor injuries and released, police said.

The parents of all three children were at the emergency departments with them.

The names of the children were not released.

Furry said watching the incident take place was "a mother's worst nightmare."

"Oh, was I scared," she said. "I jumped, ran to grab my son and pull him away before I went down to where the bus was stopped to get the kids off."

As the children exited the bus, Furry said every child was silent.

"It was so quiet until they were all in the yard," she said. "Once they started to understand what happened, then they started crying."

Some parents drove to the scene of the accident to pick up their children and another bus was brought in to take the rest of the unharmed students to Fayetteville Elementary School.

Furry kept her son and daughter, Isabelle Furry, 6, home for the day.

There have been many accidents on that stretch of Mont Alto Road between Fetterhoff Chapel Road and Yohe Road, she said. In 2008, the state lowered the speed limit on Mont Alto Road by Furry's home from 55 mph to 45 mph.

The truck remained lodged under the rear end of the bus until past 10:30 a.m. State police were measuring skid marks and the size of indents in the road and gathering other information at the scene.

Mont Alto, Fayetteville and South Mountain ambulance squads were on the scene at 9:30 a.m.

Firetrucks from Mont Alto and Fayetteville also responded.

-- Staff writers Jennifer Fitch, Don Aines and Erin Julius contributed to this story.


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