Trinity Area band avoids major injury in bus accident
A school bus that carried Trinity High School band students rests on its side after flipping over on South Main Street in Amwell, Washington County, on Friday.
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State police are investigating what caused a school bus carrying 26 Trinity Area High School band students to flip over Friday morning in Amwell.
None of the students in the accident, which occurred shortly after 10 a.m. on South Main Street, was seriously injured, although all were taken to hospitals as a precaution.
"The injuries were minor in nature," district Superintendent Paul Kasunich said.
Lone Pine Volunteer Fire Department Chief Keith Van Varenberg, who was driving a band equipment trailer behind the bus, said he saw it hit a utility pole -- shearing it in half -- before the bus drove up an embankment and overturned.
Mr. Van Varenberg said no other vehicles were involved in the accident.
The students were on one of two buses on their way from Trinity High School for a music program at Trinity South Elementary School, about a mile from the accident site.
Mr. Van Varenberg said he immediately phoned his assistant fire chief and began rescuing students from two escape hatches in the roof of the bus, as well as the back door. The bus landed on its right side, blocking the passenger door.
"They were very upset at that time, of course," he said.
"I told them to stay calm and that I needed to know who was injured and who wasn't."
Mr. Kasunich said all of the students on the bus were examined by ambulance personnel and then transported to hospitals as a precaution.
An adult chaperone and the bus driver, who is employed by the GG&C Bus Co. in Washington, Pa., were also taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries, Mr. Van Varenberg said.
Shirley Pallett, an accountant with the bus company, said the accident was under investigation and that the company "is cooperating with authorities."
Mr. Kasunich said the marching band was still scheduled to play the halftime show at Trinity's football game Friday night at Chartiers Valley High School, although attendance would not be mandatory.
First Published September 10, 2011 12:00 am