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Student speaks about her terrifying ride on a runaway school bus

Student speaks about her terrifying ride on a runaway school bus

STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. - Madison Thompson described Wednesday's bus ride to Springdale Middle School as "chaotic."

"We came around a corner and I had actually put my head up against the window and I was trying to close my eyes and rest and I noticed the bus was kind of turning sideways in a place usually doesn't turn sideways," the 13-year-old said. "So I kind of opened my eyes and as soon as I knew it, we were on our side."

Madison was one of the 27 students involved in a bus rollover off of Cemetery Road near Highway 231 in Stevens County.

"I could tell the little kids were scared and didn't know what to think," Thompson said.

The substitute driver hit a sheet of ice, causing the bus to slip off the roadway and flip on its side. Eight students were hospitalized, others were bruised and sore. The Mary Walker School District said today they're now in the process of following up with the parents of those 27 students.

"We want to work with the parents," Superintendent Kevin Jacka said. "We want to make sure there is no cost for them; we want to take care of any insurance claim that comes through."

The question that parents have now is: could it have been prevented? Jacka doesn't believe so.

"We're in mountains, we're in flats, we're in shaded areas, we're in sun areas," Jacka said. "Roads have been kind of mushy and gravely in areas and this area was a little different and I think it was just a tough situation."

Madison's father, Steven Thompson thinks it could have been prevented. He said because of the recent weather conditions, the roads should have been checked by both the county and the district before the driver left the lot.

"These are things that they've done in the past," Steven Thompson said. "Why they didn't do this the other morning, now it's in hindsight we can look at it and say perhaps that should have done this or that."

As for Madison, she was back on the bus Thursday morning despite yesterday's scary experience.

"I knew that I was in good hands because it was my regular bus driver this time," Madison said. "I knew he would take it easier and go slower."