STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. - Eight students were injured and taken to the hospital after a school bus slid off the road and flipped on its side in Springdale early Wednesday morning.
The accident happened on Cemetery Road near Highway 231. According to the Stevens County Sheriff's Office, the accident was likely caused by icy roads.
The Mary Walker School District says the accident involved Bus #6 with 27 students aboard. They reported in a media release eight students were transported to the Pediatrics Emergency Room at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane for "treatment of bumps, bruises, etc." adding no one suffered any life-threatening injuries.
Two of those students who were injured in the accident were John Warwick's children. His three daughters were on the bus Wednesday morning when it rolled.
"I was out working on my well and my wife yelled out the window and said the bus was in an accident so I jumped in the van and I was there in about five or six minutes," Warwick said shortly after arriving at Sacred Heart to check on two of his daughters.
When he arrived at the scene the bus had flipped onto its side and was lying in the middle of Cemetery Road.
"Not good. Not good. I was more concerned with all the kids there and everything and getting a hold of my kids," Warwick said, describing what he saw when he got to the accident scene. "My oldest daughter, she had called 911 while she was on the bus."
Of his three daughters who were on the bus, eight-year-old Taylor ended up with a bump on her head and minor bruises on her hand. Her older sister Katie, had some neck and spine pain, but after an X-Ray and CT Scan she checked out OK. Their third sister, 12-year-old Samantha, was OK and not taken to the hospital. Warwick has a fourth child, a son, who didn't make it on to the bus Wednesday morning.
Warwick had some choice words for Stevens County and the road conditions in the area.
"I am definitely concerned with Stevens County. That should have been all done … prior to the bus ever hitting them routes regardless. I drive truck for a living and that thing was extremely wet water with no sand on it," he said.
He also had the opportunity to speak to a sand truck driver and was critical of the lack of sanding on the roadway.
"I told him, 'You know this should have been done prior to these buses ever getting out and it could have been prevented, we pay our taxes to pay for all this stuff and for what you guys do (laughs) they are not worth their pay.' And I don't care what they say," he said.
On the other hand, he praised the quick efforts of the first responders to get to the scene and start treating the children and evacuating the injured to the hospital.
"The medical part of it, yeah, there was a bunch of them there they were on top of things. They did really good," Warwick said.
The Mary Walker School District issued several media releases regarding the accident but declined to comment further. Stevens County authorities also declined to comment on this story, leaving parents like John Warwick with frustration and more questions than answers.
"I hope somebody does some investigation and stuff like that I talked to the weigh master that does the inspection on the accidents and I told him there was absolutely no sand on that road. It could have been prevented," he said. "By golly there has got to be something done with this. This isn't the only time things like this have been happening."