HANOVER — Sgt. Timothy Holland of the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office reported Monday afternoon that three people injured in an accident involving two school buses Friday had been released from the hospital as of Monday morning.
On Friday evening, Dean Milligan, Med-Care ambulance service director, said two children from one bus who complained of back pain and a man from one of the two cars involved in the crash were taken to Rumford Hospital.
Milligan said Monday afternoon that the man with the head injury, whose name was not released to the press as of Monday evening, “had shown concussion-like symptoms at the scene of the accident and was brought to the hospital as a precaution.”
Holland later said the injuries suffered by those involved were “minor” and when he last checked with the hospital, “everyone was OK and had left.”
There were a total of 33 people involved in the crash, including 27 students.
The accident happened just after 3 p.m. Friday on Route 2. A Telstar High School bus from SAD 44, driven by Francis Yates, 68, of Andover, was stopped in the eastbound lane with its flashing red lights on while students got off the bus, Holland said.
Behind the bus, also stopped, were a passenger car driven by Mike McKnight, 53, of Andover and a Jeep sport utility vehicle, driven by Mark Daigle, 51, of Manchester.
Holland said a bus driven by Warren Cochrane, 53, of Carrabassett Valley, carrying 15 students from Carrabassett Valley Academy, failed to stop and slammed into the sport utility vehicle. The collision shoved the Jeep into the passenger car and that car into the Telstar bus, crushing the two cars between the buses.
According to SAD 44 Superintendent David Murphy, the Telstar bus, which was carrying 12 students, had “extremely minor damage done to the rear.” He praised Yates for the way he handled himself during the accident.
“As far as I’ve heard, our bus driver followed all of the rules correctly,” Murphy said. “It’s very fortunate that nobody was seriously injured. Any time you have an incident like this, the capacity is always there for something bad to happen.”
SAD 44 transportation director Ron Deegan, who went to the accident scene, said, “From what I could tell, our bus was stopped and letting kids off and the bus from Carrabassett Valley didn’t stop. I’ve been to a lot of bus accidents, and sometimes, they just happen.”
Deegan said that after an accident he normally sends a team to “go out, take notes and see if there’s something that could be done different next time. It was just me investigating this time, and everything seemed normal.”