Seymour school bus involved in crash on Tuesday


Two students were treated for injuries after a Seymour Community School Corp. bus was involved in a crash Tuesday afternoon in southern Bartholomew County, officials report.

Superintendent Brandon Harpe said the students were later released from Columbus Regional Health following the wreck reported around 2:40 p.m. on State Road 11 near Waymansville.

He said the nature of their injuries was not known, but they were considered minor.

The other 32 students on the bus were reunited with their families, he said.

Harpe said the bus was bringing students back to Seymour from C4 Columbus Area Career Connection at Columbus East High School when it was involved in a multiple-vehicle crash.

Sgt. Stephen Wheeles, public information officer for the Indiana State Police Versailles Post, said Trooper Matt Holley investigated the crash.

Wheeles said Shanaya N. Brown,  27, of Columbus was traveling southbound in the 11000 block of State Road 11 in her 2013 Dodge Dart and was being followed by Jack A. Cooper, 71, of Seymour, who was driving a 2014 GMC Terrain.

According to a news release, Brown slowed due to vehicles slowing down in front of her before Cooper swerved into the northbound lane to avoid her.

Cooper then collided with a 2004 Jeep Liberty being driven by Maria G. Hernandex-Zarate, 56, of Seymour. Cooper also collided with Brown’s vehicle following the crash.

That’s when Hernandez-Zarate’s vehicle struck the bus being driven by Daniel R. Ginger, 68, of Seymour, which was traveling southbound, Wheeles said.

Cooper and Hernandez-Zarate were taken to Columbus Regional Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

State Road 11 was closed for nearly two hours for crash investigation and cleanup.

The investigation is ongoing.

Harpe said the 2019 Thomas Built bus lost its front driver’s-side quarter panel. It also was scratched and dented on its side paneling.

It has been removed from the corporation’s fleet for repairs, Harpe said.

The bus also will have to pass an inspection by the Indiana State Police before it can transport students again.

The bus was last inspected on Jan. 18 and the inspection is valid until Sept. 30, 2020, according to state police records. Officials found no violations during the inspection, according to the report.

Harpe said the bus driver immediately radioed for help following the wreck, allowing police to respond quickly. School officials also responded to the scene.

“Our bus driver is to be commended for doing everything he could to keep students as safe as possible before, during and after the accident,” Harpe said.

Holley was assisted by other troopers with the Indiana State Police-Versailles Post, the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department, Wayne Township Fire Department and Columbus Regional Hospital EMS.

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