School Bus With 12 Knockevin Pupils in Serious Crash
TWELVE special needs children from Knockevin School in Downpatrick were in a potentially very dangerous crash this morning when the mini-bus they were travelling in was overturned when it was struck by a BT van.
The accident was reported by a passing motorist at 9.17am at the junction of the Vianstown and Bonecastle road, a rat run for local traffic on to the Newcastle Road from Downpatrick.
The children were on first reports all badly shaken and there were no serious injuries. The van driver was taken off to hospital promptly it is thought with light injuries.
A later report from the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust said: “We are currently treating eight children in the Ulster Hospital. Seven of these have minor injuries and one is having further investigations.
“Five children are being treated in Downe Emergency Department also for minor injuries. Two adults are being treated in Downe ED for minor injuries and are waiting further investigation.
“All the children are shocked and require a full assessment.”
The school bus was travelling into Downpatrick when the accident happened. The van appears to have crossed into the path of the bus on the main Vianstown Road. The front of the van is badly damaged.
The children were taken into the lounge of a neighbouring house and cared for once they were pulled out of the overturned bus. An emergency doctor was quickly on the scene. Attending the crash scene were seven emergency response ambulances, four ambulances and a fire tender from Downpatrick.
Weather conditions on the morning of the crash were very clear and the road surface appeared sound. The area of the crash was strewn with wreckage from the smashed van beside the bus lying on its side.
It was a miracle that no-one was seriously injured or killed given the speeds that the vehicles collided.
The seven rapid response ambulances came from as far as Puddysburn in Belfast and were on the scene quickly once the accident was reported.
An investigation with now be held by the PSNI into the cause of the crash.
Update will follow.
4.20pm UPDATE: Pupils in the Downe Emergency Department – 5 children and 1 adult treated and discharged. 1 adult requiring further investigations. In the Ulster ED – 7 children will be treated and discharged. 1 child will be admitted.
5.00pm UPDATE: At the Ulster Hospital, 8 children have been treated ( 3 females, 5 males, aged up to 19). One male has been kept for further investigation, and all others involved in the crash are discharged.
At the Downe Hospital, 5 children ( 3 male, 2 female), 2 adults (1 male, 1 female), have all been discharged.