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.