Head praises bus-crash students

Bus crash
Bus crash

A principal has praised the actions of his pupils following a bus crash in rural South Taranaki this week.

Kaponga Primary School principal Shane Downs said the older pupils stepped up to the mark to help after a car and a school bus, carrying 25 children,collided on the intersection of Neill and Palmer roads about 2.50pm on Wednesday.

The car was occupied by an adult and a child.

"It was awesome to see the way the senior students put the other kids before themselves," Downs, who has been principal for 6 years, said.

He said the response from emergency services who attended the scene - including fire, police and ambulance officers - was well co-ordinated, as was the response from his own staff.

"All of our procedures were in place." A similar accident had happened in November 2008, when a school bus rolled down a bank, Downs said.

Downs said a replacement school bus had been organised by Tranzit and most of the children involved in the accident had returned to school yesterday.

"They've all come back to share their stories with one another," he said.

Constable Andrew Russ, of Stratford police, said he had spoken to the drivers of the car and the bus.

Russ said bad weather, including high winds and heavy rain, may have played a role in the accident.

Russ confirmed eight children were taken to hospital to be assessed after reporting they had sore shoulders, necks and arms following the crash. The bus driver suffered a broken shoulder.

The driver of the car and the passenger were not injured.

Taranaki Daily News