Bradley Co. school bus in accident on field trip
CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) - A school bus full of Bradley County fifth graders was in an accident while on a field trip to Dollywood. No one was seriously hurt, but it made for a scary night for parents and students Friday.
The wreck happened around 6:30pm Friday as Waterville Community Elementary School's fifth grade class was just heading back from their field trip at Dollywood. The Sevierville Police Department confirms that a couple dozen students were on board and taken to the hospital after the accident on Fork Of The River Parkway.
Waterville student Taylor Lawson says it was fifth grade trip she'll never forget-- a fun day at Dollywood, followed by an even more eventful bus ride home.
"All of a sudden, we heard this big crash and the bus driver hit the brakes really hard and everyone went straight into the other seat in front of them," Taylor Lawson said.
Taylor was one of several students hurt in the crash. All were minor injuries, though-- bumps, bruises and whiplash.
"I was jerked forward and my head hit the seat in front of me and my ribs hit the edge of my seat and then I got jerked back," Taylor Lawson said.
When her parents got the initial call from the school, panic set in.
"What are you going to do? You're three hours away. What are you going to do? It's crazy," Taylor's dad, Scott Lawson said.
Scott Lawson was fearing the worst for his little girl.
"Immediately flipping out because all you could think about was the jaws of life chopping a bus into 15 pieces," Scott Lawson said.
But, school officials quickly explained what happened. They said two other cars wrecked and one landed right in the bus's path. Acting fast, the bus driver swerved and as you can see in a photo Lawson took, it just clipped the front bumper. He says the news brought instant relief and gratitude for the bus driver.
"He's a hero, man. I love that guy. Driving my kid just like it's his. It's awesome," Scott Lawson said.
Scott Lawson says he was very pleased with how the principal and teachers handled the situation by staying by his daughter's side in the hospital and calling with frequent updates. He says the students got home around midnight.
Again, some kids were a little banged up, but doing are doing just fine.