March 22, 2013

School bus runs over Messalonskee Middle School student's foot

By Amy Calder
Staff Writer

OAKLAND — A Messalonskee Middle School student was injured Friday and taken by ambulance to a Waterville hospital after a bus ran over his foot.

Regional School Unit 18 Superintendent Gary Smith said school officials are investigating the accident, which occurred at 7:50 a.m. on School Bus Drive.

“The student had no broken bones — there was just severe bruising and presently he’s at home,” Smith said at 3:40 p.m.

The accident occurred after students got off the bus and the boy was retrieving a musical instrument from the under storage bin of the bus, according to Smith.

“The driver forgot to check this and started to depart and ran over the student’s foot,” he said. “The next bus driver saw the student on the sidewalk and reported it.”

Smith would not identify the student or the bus driver involved in the accident, but said the driver is a veteran bus driver. Per the school district’s protocol for bus-related incidents, the driver was sent to Workplace Health for post-accident drug testing and is on administrative leave until the test results are back, Smith said.

The school administration was notified immediately of the accident and some school staff who are EMTs responded, according to Smith. Middle School Principal Mark Hatch and school Transportation Director Lennie Goff also responded immediately, as did Oakland Rescue, he said.

The child was taken by Delta Ambulance to MaineGeneral Medical Center’s Thayer Campus in Waterville.

Police also are investigating the incident, according to police Captain Rick Stubbert.

Stubbert said Friday afternoon that the investigation is not complete.

“There have been no charges filed,” he said.

The school safety committee made a decision Friday to discontinue use of under storage compartments on regular bus runs, according to Smith; on extra-curricular runs, only the bus driver will be authorized to put in or remove items from those compartments, he said.
Smith said that directive could change.

“We just have to make sure we are doing things so students are always safe,” he said.

RSU 18 serves students from Oakland, Belgrade, Sidney, Rome and China. Messalonskee Middle School houses students in grades six through eight.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

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