School bus crash in­jures two stu­dents, driver

Fire forces bus’ pas­sen­gers to evac­u­ate

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By CARL HAMIL­TON AND JES­SICA IANNETTA

ca­hamil­ton@ches­pub.com

— A crash in­volv­ing a Ce­cil County Pub­lic Schools bus and a pickup truck at a Colora in­ter­sec­tion Tues­day af­ter­noon sent two stu­dents to an area hospital and the truck’s driver to a re­gional trauma cen­ter, ac­cord­ing to Mary­land State Police.

Bus No. 15, which was car-

COLORA

ry­ing 17 stu­dents from Ris­ing Sun High School to their home bus stops, was head­ing south on Ja­cob Tome Me­mo­rial High­way shortly af­ter 3 p.m. when a northbound 1989 Ford F-150 pickup truck at­tempted to make a left turn onto Lib­erty Grove Road, police said.

When the turn­ing truck en­tered the south­bound lane, police added, the bus crashed into the pas­sen­ger’s side front of the ve­hi­cle.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors iden­ti­fied the truck driver as 79-yearold Colora res­i­dent Fred­er­ick Her­mann Strubbe, who was flown by MSP he- li­copter to the Univer­sity of Mary­land’s Shock Trauma Cen­ter in Bal­ti­more af­ter suf­fer­ing undis­closed in­juries, police reported.

Am­bu­lances trans­ported the two in­jured stu­dents to an area hospital, ac­cord­ing to MSP Master Tfc. John Feaster, lead in­ves­ti­ga­tor. He de­clined to pro­vide more in­for­ma­tion about the in­jured pupils, who are mi­nors, to pro­tect their iden­ti­ties.

The driver of the school bus, Elk­ton-area res­i­dent

Arthur Les­lie Hick­man Jr., 52, did not re­quire med­i­cal treat­ment. Police reported that Hick­man was driv­ing a 2008 In­ter­na­tional school bus owned by Mar­shall Bus, LLC, which is based on the 900 block of Ebenezer Church Road near Ris­ing Sun.

One of the stu­dents who was on the bus, Char­lie Mar­den Jr., 16, a Ris­ing Sun High ju­nior, told the Ce­cil Whig that the col­li­sion forced pupils to evac­u­ate us­ing the rear emer­gency exit.

At first, af­ter notic­ing what Mar­den de­scribed as a “small fire” com­ing from the front of the pickup truck, some stu­dents were rat­tled mo­men­tar­ily, he said. But the stu­dents were or­derly as they made their way off the bus, the teen added.

“Peo­ple were all freak­ing out,” he said, de­scrib­ing the ini­tial re­sponse. “Every­one went out the back.”

The bus driver su­per­vised the evac­u­a­tion and was as­sisted by a woman who had stopped to help, ac­cord­ing to the teen. He noted that paramedics, police and emer­gency work­ers ar­rived at the scene quickly.

The pupils were led away from the crash scene to a shady area off Lib­erty Grove Road, where par­ents ar­rived to pick up their chil­dren af­ter school of­fi­cials no­ti­fied them of the crash.

Kelly Kee­ton, a CCPS spokes­woman, said an­other school bus ar­rived at the scene to com­plete the bus route. How­ever, all stu­dents were signed out at the scene by their par­ents, she added. (The bus crash oc­curred af­ter stu­dents, teach­ers and staff had com­pleted their sec­ond day of the new aca­demic school year.)

Char­lie’s fa­ther, Char­lie Mar­den Sr., was among those par­ents.

“When you hear that word ‘ ac­ci­dent,’ ev­ery­thing goes through your mind,” the teen’s fa­ther said. “The prin­ci­pal called me and said there was a school bus ac­ci­dent. He let me know that he (Char­lie) was al­right. He asked if I could pick him up. I was in the area, so I came here to get him.”

The teen told the Whig that one of the in­jured stu­dents had a “busted lip” and the other ap­peared to have suf­fered an abra­sion on the chin.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JES­SICA IANNETTA

First grade stu­dents gather near the new tree sculp­ture at Per­ryville Ele­men­tary School be­fore be­ing led to their class­rooms.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY CARL HAMIL­TON

Char­lie Mar­den Jr., 16, a Ris­ing Sun High School ju­nior, leaves the crash scene with his fa­ther, Char­lie Mar­den Sr., who came to pick up his son af­ter school of­fi­cials no­ti­fied him of the bus ac­ci­dent.

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