In a harrowing incident, a school bus carrying middle school students overturned in Howard County, leading to a significant number of injuries. The unfortunate event has raised concerns about the safety of school transportation in the area.
According to sources, the students are currently being evaluated for injuries after the traumatic incident.
Bus Accident Howard County
On Thursday afternoon, a Howard County school bus carrying 19 students from Hammond Middle School overturned in Columbia, resulting in several middle school students being hospitalized. According to Howard County Public Schools officials, the incident occurred in the 7300 block of Old Columbia Road.
Middle School Students Hospitalized After Bus Accident
The bus crash left four students – two boys and two girls between the ages of 11 and 14 – hospitalized at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center for treatment. Two additional students were taken to Johns Hopkins Howard County Medical Center.
Zach Delang, a student at Hammond Middle School, shared his experience with WJZ, stating, “It felt surreal. The bus started shaking, like really violently, and then swerved to the right.” Delang emphasized that they had to open the door on the roof to evacuate, and eventually, everyone got out safely.
Severity of Injuries and Parent Reactions
Fortunately, none of the injuries appear to be life-threatening, and the students not taken to the hospital were picked up by their parents. Sylwia Delang, a concerned parent, mentioned, “Definitely you could see on their faces the stress and just trying to put together what just happened to them”.
Other parents expressed gratitude that the situation wasn’t more severe. Herman Delang stated, “I’m just thankful, so thankful that they’re sitting here with us, staring back, and that they’re doing OK for the most part”.
Investigation and Potential Citation
The investigation into the incident is ongoing, with the police exploring the possibility of speed being a factor in the crash. The driver, employed by Zum, a contractor used by the Howard County Public School system, could face a citation.
Zum had faced criticism earlier in the school year due to breakdowns in nearly two dozen bus routes resulting from driver callouts. In response, the company emphasized its commitment to student safety, stating, “Getting students to and from school safely is our number one priority. We are working closely with the county and authorities to investigate the accident”.
Medical Evaluation and Condition of Students
Of the four students hospitalized, two boys and two girls aged 11 to 14, none were reported to be in serious condition. Howard County police spokesperson Sherry Llewellyn explained, “They may have hit their heads in the crash.
There wasn’t anybody who had any evident or obvious injuries, but we’ve had some complaints of back pain or ‘I bumped my head,’ and we wanted to make sure that those were fully checked out for concussions or anything more serious, so far, so good”.
All other students have been reunited with their families, and some received on-site treatment for minor injuries. The 30-year-old driver was unharmed, and there is currently no indication of impairment, though the investigation is ongoing.
As the investigation continues, the community awaits further details on the circumstances surrounding the Howard County school bus accident. The incident serves as a reminder of the importance of prioritizing student safety and thorough evaluation of school transportation systems to prevent such accidents in the future.