‘Medical issue’ apparent cause of bus accident in The County

Posted May 23, 2010, at 9:27 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 11:55 a.m.

WESTFIELD, Maine — A driver’s medical condition appears to be the cause of a single-vehicle school bus accident late Sunday afternoon.

None of the 12 students or three adults from SAD 45 was injured when the southbound bus left U.S. Route 1 in Westfield, struck an embankment and sheared off a telephone pole.

According to Aroostook County Sheriff Sgt. Forrest Dudley, the operator of the 2008 Bluebird school bus, Darren Churchill, 44, suffered “a medical issue” that caused him to lose control of the vehicle around 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Churchill was taken by Crown Ambulance to The Aroostook Medical Center for treatment.

The high school students and adults were all from Washburn, Dudley said, and on the first leg of a Destination ImagiNation trip to Tennessee.

After the accident a second bus was brought in to take the group to Bangor where they were expected to board a Cyr Bus Line bus to continue their trip.

Dudley said the bus had substantial damage and sparked a grass fire at the scene.

The accident remains under investigation by Aroostook County Sheriff Ryan Doughty who was assisted at the scene by members of the Maine State Police, the U.S. Border Patrol and members of the Mars Hill Fire Department.

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