ODESSA, Mo. -- The Odessa R-V11 School District is making some significant policy changes after a school bus crash caused minor injuries to a pair of students on Monday. Amber Williams' six-year old son was on the bus along with around 19 others.
“My dad had called me around 3:45 and he asked me if I had picked my son up and I said 'no, why?' He said 'well, he hasn't showed up yet and it's 3:45,'” she said.
Williams said the next hour felt like an eternity as she waited for her son to return home from school.
“I got off the phone with him immediately and called the school. They had told me that they had a 'mishap' and I'm thinking kids are being bad, they had to pull off and talk to them. They've done that before,” Williams said.
But it wasn’t until Williams called the bus barn that she was told her son's bus was involved in the crash.
“Being a parent, you always think the worst and then actually seeing a bus in the tree, I started crying because it could have been a lot worse than it was, and to know that everybody knew and they didn't call us, that really makes me mad,” Williams said.
Police said the bus hit a patch of ice, slid off the road, and into a set of trees. The crash happened at the intersection of Curtis Road and Golden Belt Road in Odessa.
A group of parents were also upset with the lack of communication from the school. Superintendent Robert Brinkley said EMS informed parents of the crash prior to examining the students on the bus for injuries. Brinkley said the policy change will mandate school staff to alert parents of any future incidents.
William’s son suffered minor injuries to his face but she is glad no child was seriously hurt and hopes others will use this incident as a reminder to be careful behind the wheel.
“Slow down on the roads. Know your weather. It's not a 60 mph zone out there, especially if there's ice on the road and you know there's ice out there, you want to go a lot slower,” Williams said.
The school district released the following statement:
"On January 8, 2018, the Odessa R-VII School District had a bus accident occur when a bus slide off an icy road and hit a tree. Emergency personnel and school district personnel were contacted and on-site immediately. Local EMS and Jackson County EMS personnel checked all students for injuries. No students were transported to the hospital and no citation was issued."