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April 30, 2014

22 kids escape through back of leaning bus

SELINSGROVE — A Sharitz school bus veered off Attig Road Wednesday afternoon and stopped at an angle along an embankment, causing 22 Selinsgrove Area School District children to scurry safely out the back door.

“All the students were off the bus and fine when we arrived,” Hummels Wharf Fire Chief Jeff Buckley said.

Selinsgrove police said bus driver Michelle Melachrinos was traveling north on App Road and was making a left turn onto Attig Road when she veered off onto the grassy embankment. The vehicle, which was not damaged, came to a stop at a 25- to 30-degree angle.

“She just cut the turn too wide,” Deputy Chief John Grove said.

Melachrinos had to be coaxed out of the bus by Grove, who said she expressed concern about her knees. She declined comment at the scene.

A couple of the students were picked up by parents at the scene shortly after the 3:50 p.m. incident while the remaining youngsters sat in two ambulances and a fire truck waiting for another bus to arrive as light rain fell.

Superintendent Chad Cohrs, middle school Principal John Bohle and elementary principal Terry Heintzelman were also at the scene making sure everyone was OK and coordinating the effort to get the students safely home.

“Luckily, there was a good emergency response,” Cohrs said, crediting local emergency responders and Melachrinos.

The incident, Grove said, demonstrates the importance of regular bus drills.

“The kids got out of the back door quite quickly,” he said.

 

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