(NewsReady.com) – August 22 was the first day of school for kids in Clark County, Ohio. Around 8 a.m., parents put their elementary school students on a bus in the Northwestern Local Schools district, like they do on any other school day. This time, the bus did not make it to school, and one child never made it home.
At 8:16 a.m., a bus carrying 52 elementary school students on State Route 41 was struck by a Honda Odyssey. The bus was traveling west when the minivan was traveling east. The van moved left of center and traveled into the school bus lane.
The bus driver attempted to drive onto the shoulder of the road to avoid the minivan but was unsuccessful. The accident caused the bus to travel into the grass and overturn. Twenty-three of the kids on the bus and the bus driver were transported to hospitals in the area. One of those students, Aiden Clark, was ejected from the bus and pronounced dead at the scene. The bus was not equipped with seat belts. Another student was taken to Nationwide Children’s Hospital with critical injuries.
The driver of the van, 35-year-old Hermanio Joseph, was taken to Springfield Regional Medical Center. He was later released from the hospital. The day after the accident, he was charged with vehicular homicide. The police allege that he did not have a valid driver’s license at the time of the accident. The charge is a fourth-degree felony, and he is facing six to 12 months in prison. He could also be facing a $5,000 fine.
Governor Mike DeWine (R) issued a statement calling the accident “truly heartbreaking.” He and his wife offered their condolences to Aiden’s family. He also said their hearts were with the children who were on the bus and “their families, peers, and teachers,” telling them his prayers were with all of them.
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