A softball-sized piece of metal crashed through the windshield of a charter bus Friday causing delays on southbound Interstate 75.
A female student riding on the tour bus was injured by the piece of metal and transported by Cridersville EMS to a nearby hospital for treatment.
“The piece of metal went through the glass over the head of the driver and struck the passenger,” Wapakoneta Fire Chief Kendall Krites said Friday afternoon. “The accident could have been much worse if the metal had struck the driver of the bus. He was able to get the bus to the side of the road so the passengers could be checked for injuries.
“They were all very fortunate it did not hit the driver,” he said.
Firefighters and EMS personnel from the Wapakoneta Fire Department, officers with the Wapakoneta Police Department and troopers with the Wapakoneta Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) responded to the accident, which occurred at approximately 11 a.m. Friday. Crews left the scene at 12:19 p.m.
With a report of multiple injuries, Krites requested mutual aid from Cridersville EMS.
“We were ready for a worst case scenario when we heard the windshield of the bus had blown out and their were multiple injuries,” Krites said.
He noted he was glad there were not multiple injuries, but EMS members helped students clean their clothes and hair of glass.
There were 44 students and eight adults on the charter bus which was transporting a church group from Louisiana. They were on their way home when the accident occurred.
Krites also said Wapakoneta City Schools Operations Director Mike Watt offered the use of a school bus to transport the group to the local truck stop, but a replacement charter bus arrived minutes after the city school bus arrived at the scene.
The new charter bus transported the students to a local truck stop and the original bus also was driven to the truck stop so the group’s belongings could be transferred.
Krites explained he was in command of injuries, while the OSHP were in charge of determining what transpired.