33 Line Mountain elementary students on bus involved in collision with truck; no one injured
by justin strawser
TREVORTON - Monday may have been a calm first day of school at Line Mountain, but the same couldn't be said about Tuesday.
The second day of school started with a bang when a bus carrying 33 students was rear-ended by a pickup truck at the intersection of Route 890 and North 10th Street in this Zerbe Township village.
The good news is that no one was injured.
"We were blessed today. We were lucky," Superintendent Dave Campbell said Tuesday afternoon. "Fortunately, no one was hurt, including the drivers. Buses usually win those things, and it did, but luckily the driver (of the truck) was not hurt."
Bus lights activated
State police trooper Daniel Wilk from the Stonington barracks said the crash occurred about 9 a.m. when James M. Koronkiewicz, 30, of Shamokin, was driving a 1990 Dodge Dakota behind Juanita L. Talley, 62, of Herndon, who was driving a 2013 school bus south on Route 890. Talley activated the bus's emergency lights when she stopped at a student pick-up when Koronkiewicz failed to stop and struck the rear of the bus with the front of the truck, Wilk reported.
The bus was carrying six 5-year-olds, three 6-year-olds, six 7-year-olds, five 8-year-olds, five 9-year-olds, five 10-year-olds and three 11-year-olds to Trevorton Elementary School, police reported. The school is about a half-mile from the crash scene.
Campbell said the impact of the truck hardly moved the bus, which is owned by Marvin E. Klinger Inc., Dornsife.
Talley has been with a driver for the district for more than 15 years and is the regular driver for that 52-minute route, Campbell said.
Campbell said Talley was performing her job appropriately and will not be subject to any disciplinary action. State police reported Koronkiewicz will be cited for a traffic violation. Police said both Talley and Koronkiewicz were wearing their seat belts.
Officials, parents respond
Campbell, business manager Phil Rapant, transportation director Jane Wolfe, elementary Principal Jeanne Menko and school nurse Joanne Snyder responded to the scene of the accident. Some parents also came to the scene.
It took state police and emergency personnel 45 minutes before they allowed the students to be taken to school. The bus, which sustained minimal damage to its left rear, was determined to be operable, and it continued to the school, police said.
"We felt pretty confident in the ways things were handled," Campbell said.
Students were take the gymnasium and parents were called to inform them of the accident. If the parents wanted to speak to their children or take them home, they had that option, Campbell said.
However, no students went home, and Campbell said he escorted some children to their classrooms.
Campbell confirmed his daughter - as well as five other of his relatives - were on the bus. He didn't want to further discuss their experiences in the crash.
The pickup sustained extreme damage to its left front and had to be towed, police said.
Trevorton firefighters and area ambulance personnel responded.