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School bus involved in chain reaction accident

PARK HILLS – Two people were injured Thursday afternoon when four vehicles, including a school bus, were involved in a collision on West Main Street.

No one on the school bus was injured, according to Lt. Doug Bowles of the Park Hills Police Department. The bus is owned by Monticello Bus Lines of Bismarck. The 12-passenger bus driven by Barbara West of Bismarck had only two passengers on board when the accident occurred.

Bowles said the passengers were one student, in a wheel chair, and the driver’s assistant. The child and wheel chair were secured with appropriate safety gear.

The injured were identified by police as 34-year-old David Farley of Leadwood and 51-year-old Kathryn Benham of Leadwood. Both were taken by County Ambulance to hospitals in Farmington. Their injuries were believed to be non life-threatening.

Bowles said the eastbound bus was stopped on West Main Street to make a left turn onto St. Francois Street to go to Central Elementary School a few blocks away. Cars driven by Farley and Benham were stopped behind the bus. A third car, a 1992 Oldsmobile driven by 83-year-old Ann Brown of Desloge, ran into the rear of Benham’s car. In a chain reaction sequence, Benham’s car then hit Farley’s car in the rear and Farley’s car hit the back of the bus.

While all three cars sustained significant damage, Bowles said there was not much apparent damage to the bus. “Those things are built tough,” the officer observed.

In addition to three crews from the County Ambulance Service, members of the Park Hills Fire Department responded to the scene to provide emergency medical assistance.

Traffic on West Main Street, which is also Route Z, was rerouted by police onto neighborhood streets for nearly an hour while victims were treated and the wreckage removed from the scene.

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