Gorham, N.Y. – For Marcus Whitman 5th grader Abbey Mantz , it was supposed to be a typical ride on the bus. However, it turned out to be anything but.
The Ontario County Sheriff’s Office says on Friday morning around 7:30, bus driver Dawn Scheutzow pulled out and made a left onto County Road 1. Investigators say she pulled out in front of a pickup truck driven by Charles Lovejoy who was driving along Baldwin Road.
The Sheriff’s Office says there was dense fog at the time of the accident and poor visibility played a major factor in the accident.
When the two vehicles collided, Scheutzow lost control of the bus and it rolled over into a cornfield.
“I was nervous and scared,” Abbey says. “I didn't know what happened. A lot of kids cried. I was really, really scared.”
There were 26 students on the bus at the time of the accident and they ranged from third graders to seniors in high school.
Abbey says the older students on the bus started helping the younger ones get out of the bus.
“A lot of the older kids opened the hatches and helped us the smaller kids in the front,” she says.
Luigi Rosato, a senior, says he and friends tried to keep the other students calm.
“They were crying and panicking,” Luigi says. “They are all around the exits trying to get out. I was trying to calm them down so I could get them out in an orderly fashion.”
Luigi also had to cut the bus driver out of her seat. He says she was sideways in the air, hanging by her seat belt.
Michael Chirco, the Marcus Whitman Central School District superintendent, says the actions of the older students on the bus were heroic.
“The older students really took a hand and did what they knew they had to do,” Chirco says. “It all ended all positive and we have young heroes.”
Abbey and several other students suffered bumps and bruises. Six students had to be transported to Thompson Hospital but none of their injuries were severe. Scheutzow and Lovejoy were also treated and released.
The Sheriff’s Office says the accident is still under investigation and charges are pending.