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Knox Co. Schools: Parents were notified after bus accident

6:35 PM, Sep 7, 2011   |    comments
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Police have released the name of the man killed Tuesday afternoon in an accident with a school bus.

Darrell Bunch of Corryton died when his pickup truck struck the bus.  The 44-year-old's truck was traveling eastbound and the bus was going west bound when the truck crossed the center line striking the bus head on.

Parents were able to pick up their kids after they were taken back to A .L. Lotts by a replacement bus. Following district policy, the only parents to initially be told of the crash were the ones who had children on the bus.

Knox County School's Bus Handbook states when it comes to accidents involving busses, "The principal or his/her designee is to report to the accident scene with a cell phone".

School staff are to "pull emergency cards of the students and call those parents who can be reached."

Once those parents were notified and more information regarding Tuesday's crash was gathered, an automated phone call was sent out by school administrators to all parents who have children at A.L. Lotts.

The district did not immediately say the number of the bus that was involved. That is something the superintendent says they try to avoid, since bus numbers are not always consistent.

"Because that bus number typically is the same bus number every day, it's not always the same bus number every day. That's not always a reliable indicator of which students were on that bus and which students were not on that bus," said Dr. Jim McIntyre. "What we try to do is make sure that we make direct contact with parents to make sure they know 'This is what happened, your student is safe and no injuries, and we're going to ask you to pick them up at the school or we're going to finish the bus route and drop them off at their designated stop'."

McIntyre said the district is implementing a new automated calling system that can alert parents based on individual bus routes.

"That may give us some additional tools that we can use for communication that might enhance that experience for our parents in the future," he said.

The school system is required under state law to do drug and alcohol screenings on driver and impound and inspect the bus.

A Knox County Sheriff's spokesperson say so far the accident report has not yet been completed. The only information released so far about the cause of the crash is that Bunch crossed the center line and hit the bus head on.

Update- 4:39 

One person is now dead after an accident involving a school bus off of Northshore drive on Tuesday afternoon. 

According to the Knox County Sheriff's Office, a man was killed when his pickup truck struck the bus. The truck was traveling eastbound and the bus was going west bound when the truck crossed the center line striking the bus head on. 

Officials said the man was not wearing a seat belt. He was the only one in the vehicle. 

Fifteen children were on board the bus, but no injuries were reported. 

Officers will release children to parents at the scene because a replacement bus has not arrived yet. Northshore will be closed for three to four hours for an investigation. 

Update 4:20 

The bus involved in the accident is leaning off the road.  It was involved in an accident with a truck.

Deputies on the scene say the kids are waiting for another bus to pick them.  We've been unable to reach Knox County Schools for any information about the bus number or what parents need to do.

Update 3:40 

Officials say one person was killed when their vehicle was involved in a crash with a Knox County school bus.  There were no other injuries reported.

According to a reporter at the scene, there are still kids next to the school bus.

Previous story

A Knox County school bus has been involved in an accident Tuesday afternoon.  Officials say there were children on board the bus.

Dispatchers say the accident was reported at 3:12 pm on Northshore Drive near Bluegrass Road.

Knox County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Martha Dooley says the bus was from A.L. Lotts Elementary.  She had no word on any injuries or what caused the crash.

Dispatchers say medical units were sent to the scene.

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