Pierce County Sheriff deputies and the State Patrol assisted the traffic flow on the Key Pen Highway while injured students and drivers were transported to St. Anthony Hospital. It took about two hours to clear the accident from the highway. There was major damage to the rear of PSD bus 47. Photo: Danna Webster, KP News

Shortly after 11 a.m. on Nov. 18, school bus 47 from Key Peninsula Middle School was involved in an accident. It was an early dismissal day and students were being transported home. The accident occurred south of the Shell station on Key Pen Highway.

Thirty-four students were on the bus. Six students were transported to St. Anthony hospital for evaluation and injuries were reported as minor.

Emergency medic units also transported the school bus driver and the two drivers of the other vehicles involved. Division Chief of Operations Guy Allen at Key Peninsula Fire District 16 reported that he had not received an official hospital report but no one was admitted into the hospital and most went home quickly.

First on the scene were an engine and Medic Unit from FD 16. They received the call at 11:20 a.m. and were on the scene in nine minutes. The Key Peninsula units were assisted by medic units from South Kitsap and Gig Harbor. Key Pen highway was cleared of the accident and open to traffic at 1:24 p.m. after the state patrol investigation.

FD 16 Division Chief Chuck West reported from the scene his appreciation for the back up assistance from South Kitsap and Gig Harbor. They needed all their vehicles to transport the six students and three drivers to the hospital.

Peninsula School District officials were also on the scene. Division Chief Allen said, “The school district was very responsive. Administration was there in the first 20 minutes and they had another bus in route to transport the other students.”

Amy Nelson, Director of Assessment and Accountability for Peninsula School District said the parents of students transported to the hospital were contacted immediately and then all of the parents of the other student passengers were contacted.  “Our concern is for the safety of our students and contacting parents,” Nelson said and noted that PSD updated their website about the incident immediately.

According to Allen, the school bus stopped for traffic and a pickup truck following the bus was unable to stop. The pickup truck pulled into the southbound lane to avoid collision with the bus. The southbound lane was occupied by an oncoming van. The pickup tried to correct back and collided with the van and the rear of the bus at the same time.

The accident is under investigation by the Fire District, Pierce County Sheriff and State Patrol.

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