The Knoxville Rural Fire Department, Knoxville Fire and Rescue, Melcher-Dallas Rescue, Columbia Fire and Rescue, Pella Ambulance, Bussey Rescue, the Knoxville Police Department, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the Iowa State Patrol and Mercy One responded to the scene of a car/Knoxville school bus accident near 135th and Oregon south of Knoxville earlier this afternoon. Marion County Sheriff Ron Goemaat tells KNIA/KRLS News that at about 3:37pm they received a call that there had been an accident involving a school bus and a car. Knoxville Fire Chief Mike Roberts tells KNIA/KRLS News that the driver of the bus, was airlifted by Mercy One. Knoxville Superintendent of Schools Dr. Randy Flack tells KNIA/KRLS that the driver of the bus was Annette “Toni” Pitt, 53. Mercy Hospital authorities report that Pitt is currently in serious condition at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines.
Authorities tell KNIA/KRLS that it appears the school bus rolled at least twice during the accident. A total of nine people including children were transported, and approximately seven children were released to their parents on scene. The Iowa State Patrol reports that all of the children were treated at area hospitals and released.
Cuts, abbraisians, and bruises were the main complaints of injury among those involved. Knoxville Fire Chief Mike Roberts tells KNIA/KRLS that the children were transported as a precaution, and that no injuries to the children appeared life threatening. First responders on scene tell KNIA/KRLS that the older children on the bus are to be commended for helping get the younger children calmed down and off the bus before and as emergency personnel arrived.
The vehicle involved was a maroon Toyota Prius with Mahaska County plates. Authorities tell KNIA/KRLS that the driver of the Prius escaped with non-life threatening injuries. The Iowa State Patrol reports that the driver of the vehicle was Kendra Dorn, 19, of Oskaloosa, and Edwin Smith, 21, of Knoxville was her passenger. Both were transported to the Knoxville Hospital and Clinics as a precaution.
According to the State Patrol, Dorn was traveling eastbound on Oregon, coming up to the stop sign at 135th, when she failed to stop and collided with the school bus.
Superintendent of Knoxville Schools Dr. Randy Flack tells KNIA/KRLS that he would like to thank the first responders who responded to the scene, as well as the students who performed so well under the emergency conditions. By all accounts, the older students performed well under these trying conditions, according to Flack, and that they used their emergency training very well at the scene.
According to Flack, despite Pitt’s injuries, and being with her throughout the evening at the hospital, her primary concern was not with her own serious condition, but with how the students involved in the accident were doing.
KNIA/KRLS News will bring you more information as soon as it becomes official.
Original post 4:15pm January 30