TUNKHANNOCK TOWNSHIP — Five students from Tunkhannock Area School District were taken to the hospital after their bus was involved in a crash on the way to school and police say the crash never should have happened.
Authorities say a man from Dalton hit a Tunkhannock Area School District bus around 7:30 a.m. on Route 307 near the intersection with Route 92, sending five students to the hospital.
Investigators say the driver was on his way home from working a 12-hour shift and may have fallen asleep behind the wheel.
Tunkhannock Township police say Brian Jonas of Dalton crashed into the bus head on and he was driving with a suspended license.
It happened near the intersection of Routes 307 and 92.
We talked with a few construction workers who heard the crash and quickly came to the rescue. Just as Glenn Peters began starting the work day along Route 307 in Tunkhannock Township a car drove head on into a school bus full of Tunkhannock Area students.
“We just heard a bang up the road. We looked up, we could see smoke coming out of the car and we saw that it had run into the school bus,” said Peters.
Before emergency crews arrived, peters and several of his road construction coworkers instinctively went rushing up to help, not knowing if anyone was still in danger.
“That’s what we were worried about, if the car were to catch on fire or something, you know, I have kids at home too, so that’s what I was thinking about,” said Peters.
The school bus was lodged right up against this guide rail. Construction workers quickly helped to get students off the bus and to safety.
“We just opened the back door, helped the kids get down safely, and we just wanted to make sure no kids were injured.”
Tunkhannock Area Superintendent Michael Healey was also on scene and says the students on the bus were from the Lake Winola and Mill City area, grades 5 through 12. Five students were taken to the hospital and later released.
Another bus took the rest of the students to the school, where they were checked out by a school nurse.
Healey says procedures worked exactly as planned.
“Everybody did what they were supposed to do, and I’m very pleased with the support that we got from the community and the volunteers.”
Officials say the driver of the car was treated for minor cuts to his head the bus driver wasn’t injured.
And Glenn Peters and the rest of his construction crew went right back to work after helping at the scene.
“You just keep doing what you’ve got to do. It’s not a big deal,” he said.
Police say Jonas will be charged with careless driving, driving with a suspended license, and for not wearing his seat belt.