By Terry Rogers
Three School Buses Involved in Accident
On Thursday, April 19, three Milford School District buses were involved in an accident at the intersection of Route 113 and Fitzgerald Road. Two of the buses suffered minor damage while the third suffered severe damage. Two people suffered minor injuries.
Delaware State Police say that 23-year old Dillon Taylor of Greenwood was driving a dump truck northbound on DuPont Bouevard (Route 113) and approaching the intersection of Fitzgerald/Johnson Road. According to police, Mary E. Alexander of Ellendale was operating a school bus was stopped on Johnson Road, heading westbound. Ms. Alexander, who owns the bus she was driving, proceeded into the intersection as her light was green in order to turn southbound on the highway. The dump truck failed to stop at the red light, striking the left front corner of the bus with the right front corner of the truck.
Police state that fter the collision, the dump truck continued north where it struck another school bus operated by Tighmir I Sayles of Milford, head on. This pushed the bus with Sayles behind the wheel into a bus driven by Audrey G. Wegner of Ellendale that was stopped behind the second bus. Both the second and third buses involved in the accident were in the left turn lane waiting for the light to turn green so they could turn left onto Johnson Road to deliver students to Morris Early Childhood Center. Both the second and third bus are owned by RJK Transportation Inc.
According to Dr. Glen Stevenson, Director of Operations at Milford School District, there were only six children on one of the buses at the time and none were injured. All children involved were between three and four years old. The driver of one bus, Mrs. Alexander, was being taken to Bayhealth in Milford where she was treated and released for minor injuries. Mr. Taylor was also transported to Bayhealth in Milford where he was treated and released for minor injuries.
“Although one bus driver had to be transported to the hospital with a back injury, the fact that the other two drivers and six children were not injured is amazing,” said Dr. Phyllis Kohel, Superintendent of Milford School District. “The district sent a nurse to the scene to assist if needed and Jon LoBiondo, assistant principal at Morris was there so that there was a familiar face for the children. Luckily, two of the buses were empty and the six children on the third bus were without injury. The scene, itself, looked horrific, but the Milford Police and Delaware State Police kept everything under control.” Dr. Kohel said it is always unfortunate when such incidents happen, but that it was very fortunate that no one was seriously injured. An all-call was sent out to parents throughout the district to inform them of the accident.
On his Facebook page that evening, Bob Koppenhaver, owner of two of the buses, expressed his thanks to those that provided assistance. He and his wife, Mary, were out of town at the time of the accident.
“I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who reached out to us today after the accident involving two of our buses,” Mr. Koppenhaver wrote. “A big thank you to all the emergency responders as well and thank you to all our dedicated employees who helped us get through the day! What made this day more stressful was that we were out of town when it happened. Praise God that there were no serious injuries! I also wanted to thank my fellow bus contractors for their offers to help. It is much appreciated!”