Students talk about the Russell County school bus accident
Five students and a bus driver are recovering from minor injuries after a school bus crash in Russell County, Virginia. Virginia State Police tell us the driver of the bus is facing a reckless driving charge. Click here to view photos from the scene.
A Russell County school bus crashed off of Honaker's Chapel Road around 7:30 a.m. Monday. "The back end of the bus just kind of slid downhill and it just flipped. It just happened so fast," says Ethan Helton, who was injured during the accident.
The Virginia State Police tell us the bus had just turned around to pick up a child when it ran off an embankment and overturned on its side. "It was like everything was quiet and you could just hear it slowly flipping," says Tanner Phillips, who was injured during the accident.
Philips was one of eleven children on the bus at the time of the accident. He tells us some of the kids went flying from their seats. "As we were flipping, the girl that was sitting to the other side of me, I watched her. She was hanging on the edge of the seat and she let go and fell down on top of me," adds Spencer Elan, who was injured during the accident.
"I was actually hanging from the seat of the bus trying to stop myself from falling to the other side," says Helton.
Shockingly enough, nobody was seriously injured. A total of five students and the driver went to the Russell County Medical Center with minor injuries. "Mostly just face bruises, bumps and scratches, nothing serious," says Phillips.
The road where the accident happened is very narrow. It's completely gravel and it’s not very forgiving. "I've traveled it many times and you can't meet another vehicle on this road," says Angela Helton, whose children were injured on the bus.
The Virginia State Police tell us the bus driver was 63-year-old Robert R. Trent, Jr. Police say he was charged with reckless driving, but speed was not a factor. "I think it’s just an accident. I don't think there was anything he could have prevented. I don't think it was anything he meant to happen," adds Angela Helton.
Meanwhile, the students tell us they are just thankful the crash wasn't worse. "I was just happy to be alive. I was shaking and scared," adds Phillips.
We've also been digging up facts about the number of bus crashes in Russell County. Virginia State Police tell News 5 they've worked five school bus accidents in the county since school started in August.
The bus in this accident was involved in an accident in Honaker with a different driver earlier this school year.
The crash is still under investigation.
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