Update: Douglass Superintendent Rob Reynolds has released a statement regarding last Thursday's bus accident.
The driver of the bus involved in a crash Thursday afternoon has been identified as Morris Peterson. The superintendent of Douglass schools says Peterson was a substitute driver for several years. This year, he drove for the Early Childhood Program.
Peterson is in fair condition at a Wichita hospital.
Crews have been working to get the bus out of the river Friday morning.
The Kansas Highway Patrol is conducting an investigation on the school bus accident last week. The driver has been suspended, pending the results of an investigation.
I want to let everyone know how thankful we are that everyone involved is safe. The bus was crossing a low water area and left the road before coming to rest on its side.The children used the escape hatch and windows to climb to safety on top of the bus. The kids were amazing, and they and the driver helped each other. All emergency responders were outstanding, and all ten children were reunited with their parents. Staff will continue to closely monitor the students who were involved, and our school counselors will be available to talk to the students as well.
Douglass Superintendent of School
A Douglass School District bus drove off a bridge and plunged on its side into water near southwest 190th and Hopkins Switch Road in Butler County, southeast of Douglass.
The 10 students on board were mostly OK, although one girl was taken to the hospital for whiplash and a possible concussion. The bus driver, a substitute, was airlifted into Wesley Medical Center. He had injuries to his back, and is believed to have suffered from hypothermia.
The children exited the bus through the emergency exit, climbed to the top and waited to be rescued.
Butler County Sheriff Kelly Herzet said the Kansas Highway Patrol is working the accident.
"The water is very swift down there," Herzet said. "It took a little while to get everybody out. But everybody's safe, and it's a good day."
One student on the bus, Corey Gustafson, said he was "scared and cold."
"It took like 30 minutes," he said. "But (rescuers) grabbed a boat and (took the students) two by two."
Douglass Superintendent Rob Reynolds said he was thankful that Emergency Management was on top of situation.
"When I arrived here at the scene, the kids were on top of the bus actually hugging each other," Reynolds said. "The older kids were supporting the younger ones. ... I'm very proud of the kids."