POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Mason County sheriff’s deputies have cited a Missouri truck driver for causing the accident involving a school bus Tuesday morning on U.S. Route 35 that sent nine children to the hospital.

Deputies ticketed Benjamin Marshal, 28, of Neosho, Missouri, for driving too fast and failure to maintain control.

Marshal was in a second tractor trailer behind the bus near the U.S. Route 35 intersection with Cornstalk Road. He told deputies he looked down for a moment and slammed into the tractor trailer in front of him, which hit the bus. There was significant damage to all three vehicles.

There were 19 kids on the bus and nine were transported for treatment.

“We immobilized our mass casualty incident plan,” said Mason County Emergency Services Director Chuck Blake. “Which involved providing enough emergency response to handle all the patients.”

Eight ambulances from Mason County were dispatched and four from Putnam County responded. Blake said at the same time there was another unrelated crash in the county and Cabell County authorities responded to that scene with two ambulances and a helicopter.

Blake could not comment on the extent of injuries to the children. Most of the injuries were reported to be minor, but did include cuts and bruises. The drivers of the stopped trucks were also taken to the hospital. Blake said they took no chances.

“The children from the bus were evaluated per county protocols,” he said. “The drivers of the other vehicles were transported to various hospitals based on their injuries.”

U.S. Route 35 was closed for a few hours.

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  • The Answer

    Earl Ray you boys in Charleston dodge a bomb shell this time but next you may not...
    Enough said.

  • Charles

    Doesn't the EMS Director mean that he activated the disaster plan? Surely he didn't immobilize it.

    • Mason County Contrarian

      Ol' Chuck doesn't often get the chance to use "Them Terrorists Are Comin' and We're Under Attack" lingo. He got a little excited.

  • richard

    For those who don't know, Delegate Butler, of the 14th district, stood the loudest and strongest against the Rt. 35 upgrades, especially putting tolls on it. I don't care how it gets done, tolls or not, this road's upgrade should be of the upmost importance. I would be willing to bet, based on my travel of the road,that 80% of the accidents on that road involve semi trucks or Ohio drivers, both of which think they own the highway, and the later can't drive anyway. I say toll the road and let them pay for it. Until that time comes, the deaths and injuries are on Delegate Butler's and the county commission's hands for refusing the tolls. In my ever so humble opinion.

  • Shadow

    I wonder how many would have been hurt had safety belts been mandated and installed on that school bus? I have a hard time understanding why the Government is worried about our safety but disregard our children. Strange logic! Is it the $25 dollar fine?

    • Rico

      The case has been made that it is safer for the children to NOT be seatbelted in. Imagine that this crash had been worse. The bus has flipped onto it's side. The bus has caught on fire. All of the children are injured, and many are unconscious. It would take too long to extract all of the children from the burning bus if they were all strapped in.

  • Steveoo


    Farding...great word! See it frequently and have noticed some men doing it too!

  • Abbagoochie

    If folks didnt speed as always there would be very few wrecks which is akways the cause on any roads anywhere along with the cell phone and woman farding while driving.

  • Say What

    As a truckdriver(and other duties) of close to thirty years,I feel secure in saying that one trucker will keep his job and one will not.

  • Brad

    You can't have it both ways folks. You complain about the idea of paying a toll to finance construction of a good road but complain about the accidents on this road. Gotta decide which is the lesser of two evils.

    • Mason County Contrarian

      Local hacks were more concerned about pleasing the anti-tax crowd and fringe voters rather than seizing the opportunity and doing the right thing.

      Our children mean more to us than a minuscule $2 toll. Just wish the county commission and Tea Party reps in the state legislature shared our sentiment.

      • Mason County Contrarian

        The Mason County delegate (who incidentally is a Tea Party organizer and spearheaded the effort to nix the Commission-endorsed toll finance plan) had the audacity to pound his chest and proclaim on WSAZ how hard he has worked the past two years to finish Rt. 35.

        Stay home voters. Momma Contrarian didn't raise no fool and I don't suffer them easily.

        • Marion

          You all think Route 35 is the only bad road in the state give me a break. This is WV. Pot hole state of the nation ! I travel all through the state on main plus the back roads. Very few good ones. The best roads in our state is close to high $ resorts and parks ! If the politicians can't benefit from it forget it ! Just hope everyone involved in wreck is ok .

          • richard

            With the exception of the interstates in the state, I would say there is no other road in the state that is traveled more than US 35 and especially by truckers.

  • the flying dutchman

    rt 35 is the modern day version of the wva turnpike before the upgrades. this is a normal occurence for those who regularly travel that way....wrecks normally involve cars and trucks, never a schoolbus full of kids. the state refuses to find money for the upgrades....this accident is a preview of what would be the worst case scenario....children in a schoolbus killed by semi who couldnt stop in time. this should be the story of the day....a bullet was dodged!

  • Mason County Contrarian

    As was posted several months ago, it has happened: our children are now victims of county and state inaction on this Cluster Flop.

    Well, Gov and county commission, the ball is in your court.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Thank God no one was killed or seriously injured. Rt. 35 must be upgraded to 4 lanes. I have NO objection to dipping into the rainy day fund to finish this road. If it saves one life (which it will) it will be worth it.