KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A school bus crash that sent 22 Pembroke Hill students and their driver to the hospital in August remains under investigation, but the preliminary accident report by the Kansas Highway Patrol sheds some light on questions investigators have been asking.
The report states the driver “appeared to be asleep while all of the students boarded the bus.” That’s according to teachers who spoke with a highway patrol investigator.
“I believe I saw his eyes close briefly,” stated one teacher.
The driver later admitted to being tired and to taking a nap as the children boarded the bus but denied falling asleep at the wheel. The driver told investigators he entered the curve too fast and the passenger side tires of the bus went off the road. He said he tried to steer the bus back to the left, but the rear tires slid on the grass and the bus overturned.
But after viewing the camera on board the bus, the investigator noted in the report that the driver’s hands were not on the steering wheel when the bus began to overturn.
The bus driver was released from the hospital about a week after the crash.
The crash remains under investigation.