No injuries in Maries R2 school bus accident

Roxie Murphy
Staff Writer

An incident Feb. 1 involving an alleged drunk driver and  Maries County R-2 school bus No. 13 loaded with 10 students resulted in no injuries, according to Osage County Sheriff Michael Bonham.

“We received a call for a vehicle accident at 4:32 p.m. (Friday) involving a school bus, which heightens our sense of urgency,” Bonham said on Tuesday about the Feb. 1 incident. “Upon arrival we made sure there were no injuries. The driver of vehicle number two, a pickup, was being examined.”

Initial reports were that the driver of vehicle two, traveling in the same direction, struck the school bus from behind while it was unloading students on Highway D near Osage County Road 705.

“Luckily there was no injuries to any of the parties involved,” according to the sheriff’s Facebook page. “The driver was arrested by the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP), who took over the scene.

Driver two was taken to the Osage County Jail for further testing. Bonham said the incident is still under investigation as of Tuesday morning. A call to Sgt. Scott White at MSHP Troop F revealed that the driver was released.

“After a full investigation, we did not charge the driver with a DWI (driving while intoxicated),” White said.

He added that since the driver was released, the official reports would not release their name.

“There will be charges pending as a result of the crash,” White said. “I don’t know what those will be, the officer is still working on the report.”

Maries County R-2 Superintendent Dr. Patrick Call said the district handled the emergency smoothly.

“It wasn’t our driver’s fault,” Call said. “The bus had minor damage.”

The district sent a text message out to the parents of the students who were on the bus, notifying them that their children would be late due to an accident and that there were no injuries. Call said he was unaware of any parents contacting the school for more information because the district’s phone system was already shut down for the night.

“We did have another bus come out and pick them up after the Highway Patrol released the scene,” Call said.