a_d
Tuesday, September 4th, 2012
By Margie Wuebker
No injuries in fiery car-bus accident
Car gets stuck under bus, two students, drivers escape
  ST. HENRY - No injuries were reported when a car collided with a St. Henry school bus at 7 a.m. today along Fort Recovery-Minster Road.
Bus driver Martha "Marty" Schmackers, 59, of St. Henry, had picked up two students on her second stop of the morning when an eastbound four-door Pontiac driven by Chelsey Leuthold, 20, of Fort Recovery, ran into the rear bumper and became lodged beneath the bus frame. The car burst into flames within seconds, according to a Mercer County Sheriff's Office report.
Warning lights on the bus reportedly were operating at the time due to an impending stop 10 to 15 feet away.
Schmackers immediately got the students off the bus and into a nearby field before going to check on Leuthold, who escaped the burning car. Mothers standing with their children at nearby stops called 911 and alerted school officials.
Several rescue squads initially were called to the scene but were not needed. St. Henry firefighters doused the flames while Mercer County Emergency Response Volunteers handled traffic control at state Route 118 and Fleetfoot Road.
St. Henry Superintendent Rod Moorman said he saw flames shooting above the top of the bus when he arrived at the scene. He already had been told the driver and students were safe.
"Marty did everything she has been trained to do," Moorman said. "She got the students off quickly and to a safe location. Thank God the bus was not full at the time or evacuation would have taken longer."
A second bus was dispatched to complete Schmackers' route.
"The car was banged up, and the back of the bus was charred," the superintendent said. "The heat melted the lights. We are so fortunate no one was hurt."
Bus drivers and students practiced evacuation techniques just last week. Moorman believes such practices are important because an accident like the one this morning occurs unexpectedly.
Both heavily damaged vehicles were towed from the scene. Leuthold was cited for an assured clear distance violation. Weather conditions were not a factor, according to the report.
Additional online stories for this date
Print and E-Edition only stories for this date
• Low lake water blamed for reduced profit
• A rough 8 seconds
• Unit that removes phosphorous from hog manure tested
• St. Henry knocks off Celina in final
• Cavaliers' boys and girls runners-up at Greenville
a_d
Wednesday
56°
Mostly Cloudy
1%
Wednesday Night
41°
Mostly Cloudy
26%
Thursday
62°
Rain Showers Likely
81%
Thursday Night
51°
Thunderstorms
86%
Friday
59°
Thunderstorms Likely
60%
Friday Night
39°
Slight Chance Rain Showers
23%
Saturday
54°
Mostly Cloudy
9%
Saturday Night
40°
Mostly Cloudy
6%
Sunday
59°
Mostly Cloudy
10%
Sunday Night
44°
Mostly Cloudy
15%
Monday
63°
Rain Showers Likely
57%
Monday Night
49°
Chance Rain Showers
60%
3 Day
Extended
a_d
a_d