13 Children Hurt In School Bus Crash Near Mattawa
Over a dozen children have injuries following a two-vehicle accident involving a school bus in Grant County on Monday afternoon.
The Grant County Sheriff's Office says the accident occurred around 3:45 p.m. when a Wahluke School District bus traveling south on Road O Southwest was struck by a pickup truck that ran a stop sign.
Spokesperson Kyle Foreman says the impact caused the bus to turn on its side, injuring 13 children who were onboard.
"The injuries ranged from bumps and scrapes to lacerations. All of the injuries were consistent with the school bus rolling onto its side and the kids falling onto each other inside the passenger compartment. None of the injuries were life-threatening."
The injured students, all of whom range from kindergarten to eighth grade in age, were triaged and transported to Kadlec Medical Center in Richland and Trios Hospital in Kennewick.
The four uninjured students were all examined by emergency medical responders and released to their parents or guardians.
Foreman says it appears weather conditions played a major factor in the collision.
"There was pea soup fog in the area as the pickup truck driver approached the stop sign. I can tell you that on my way to the scene of the accident that I approached a stop sign and didn't see it myself and almost blew right through it. So I imagine he might have had a similar experience while driving and simply ran the stop sign without realizing it and struck the school bus."
The driver of the pickup, 48-year-old Jose Ramirez of Mattawa, sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries and was transported by ambulance to Kadlec Medical Center. Foreman says it is unlikely Ramirez will be cited for causing the accident.
The bus driver, 40-year-old Marco Bravo Guerrero of Desert Aire, was examined by emergency medical personnel at the scene and refused further treatment.
The wreck blocked traffic for several hours.