Sheriff reports driver fell asleep at the wheel
The information was released to the Herald following preliminary investigations into the accident, which sent more than a dozen children to the hospital.
Sheriff Howie Hanft said upon review of the camera on the school bus, the driver reportedly fell asleep at the wheel before the bus left the roadway and collided with a tree.
“Road conditions played no part in this accident,” Hanft said.
Central dispatch received a report of the accident around 7:30 a.m. Nov. 30.
According to West Branch-Rose City Superintendent Phil Mikulski, the accident occurred with the Route 8 bus, which transports children in the Lupton and South Branch area. Mikulski also reported that 15 students were on board the bus at the time of the accident. However, later in the day the district reported there were 16 students involved.
The accident occurred on Doll Road, north of Lupton Road in Lupton.
Two students were picked up by parents. One student was transported to the hospital by Ogemaw County EMS. The other students were transported to the hospital for evaluation by the school.
According to a press release from the district, one student suffered a broken leg and another had a broken collar bone. The rest of the students were uninjured or suffered bumps and bruises.
The driver of the bus was also uninjured.
“Parents of the students involved were contacted immediately by the transportation department,” the press release reads. “...the superintendent followed up with each family of those students at the hospital.”
The district thanked first responders, law enforcement personnel and medical staff at MidMichigan Medical Center - West Branch for their handling of the situation.