HEGINS -- Some students from the Tri-Valley School District did not have an ordinary ride to school in Schuylkill County on Tuesday morning.
As bus number 11 backed out and got ready to pick up students in the Hegins area, it was an unwanted passenger from the day before that has people talking.
“It was a boom, glass flew all over, the deer was inside the bus, running all about in the aisle,” Bus driver Curtis Zemencik said.
After 25 years driving school buses in the area, Zemencik said he has never seen anything like it.
“I often thought of them running in front of me, slamming on the brakes, but never to go through a windshield and ending up inside with us,” Zemencik said.
He said as he was picking up students in the morning, several deer blocked the road in front of him, so he stopped the bus.
The next thing he knew, one deer jumped over the hood. Another came right into the bus through a window.
Zemencik said the deer leaped through a passenger window and hit a student in the lip. Then it went down the aisle and struck a student in the thigh. After that, the deer realized it had nowhere to go, Zemencik opened the front door, and the deer left.
Once the deer walked off the bus as though nothing had ever happened, Zemencik rushed to help the injured students.
“We needed to clean up the blood. I had him rinse his mouth out, checked his cut to make sure how big the cut was, and make sure he was okay and the others were okay,” Zemencik said.
The Tri-Valley Students were treated by the school nurse afterward. Then the bus company tended to the bus.
“Well, it wasn't a quick fix. That glass was throughout the whole bus. It took my cousin five hours to clean it up,” Dan Bowman of Bowman Brothers Busing Company said.
Then on Wednesday morning, Zemencik said another herd of deer showed up on the same road on the route to school.
“I went very, very slow, very cautiously. You could hear the kids take deep breaths and think, 'Oh, my gosh, here we go again,’” Zemencik said.
Zemencik said the student who was kicked in the thigh was back on the bus Wednesday morning, but the other student who had a cut to the lip stayed home.
Newswatch 16 reached out to the Tri-Valley School District for their take on the incident and officials declined to comment.