No students hurt during school bus, pickup crash
CHESTERTOWN — The driver of a pickup truck allegedly encroached over the stop line as a Kent County Public Schools bus was turning onto College Avenue from High Street on Tuesday morning, jamming the intersection and delaying the students’ arrival at nearby Garnet Elementary School.
There were 29 students on the bus, Superintendent Karen Couch reported. She said the students were evaluated at the scene by Kent County EMS and then transported by a second bus to school.
There were no reported student injuries, Couch said.
The pickup truck driver, identified as Donald Os- wald Wilkerson, was taken by Kent-Queen Anne’s Rescue Squad to University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown. He was treated for minor injuries, police said.
The other driver was identified as William George Scott.
Police reported that Scott,
65, was operating a Kent County Public Schools bus southbound on High Street at about 8:55 a.m., trying to make a left-hand turn onto College Avenue. Scott was unable to fully navigate the narrow intersection.
Wilkerson, 66, of Chestertown was operating a Dodge Ram pickup truck on College Avenue, preparing to make a right-hand turn onto High Street. He drove past the stop line, police said.
The vehicles “crushed into each other,” Lt. John Dolgos of the CPD said Wednesday morning. The point of impact for the school bus was on the driver’s side, in the area of the second row of seats, he said.
Garnet Principal Brenda Rose and Joe Wheeler, the school district’s supervisor of operations, responded to the scene.
Both vehicles were driven from the scene. Police parked Wilkerson’s truck on High Street, near where he lives.
The school bus camera and side of the bus were damaged, Couch said. The
bus has been taken off the road until the exterior camera can be repaired, she said.
Couch said per school district policy, Scott was transported by an administrator from the scene to undergo testing for drugs and alcohol. His return as a driver will depend upon the results of the toxicology tests, which are standard practice when a bus is involved in a crash.
With police and emergency first responders on the scene, the 600-block of High Street was briefly closed, disrupting the morning commute. North College Avenue, between High and Calvert streets, remained closed for the duration of the incident, according to a post on the Chestertown Volunteer Fire Company’s Facebook page.
Other than a Chestertown fire truck parked at the corner, traffic on South College Avenue was not affected.
Once the vehicles had been removed from the scene, fire company personnel cleaned up the roadway debris. They were on the scene for about 40 minutes.
As of press time Wednesday, no charges had been filed. PFC Marty Heinefield is the investigating officer.
In this photo courtesy of the Chestertown Volunteer Fire Company, a pickup truck and school bus are wedged in the intersection of High Street and College Avenue Tuesday morning after the truck driver allegedly crossed the stop line.