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Driver of wrecked school bus resigns

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The operator of an Indian Lake school bus that crashed on Feb. 4 on Stokes Township Road 88 has resigned from her job as a school bus driver.

Indian Lake school board members at a regular meeting Tuesday accepted the resignation of Terrassa Titus-Cline for personal reasons.

She was driving Bus 18 southbound on a snow- and ice-covered portion of T.R. 88 just south of Township Road 92 when she lost control, traveled off the right side of the roadway and overturned.

None of the 41 students on board that day was seriously injured, board members reiterated Tuesday. According to hospital records, Mary Rutan Hospital registered 27 patients for treatment as a result of the crash. Injuries ranged from a broken clavicle to bruising, abrasions and minor burns.

Superintendent Pat O’Donnell said the bus driver chose to resign on her own. In fact, her actions in the immediate aftermath of the crash were commended by both school board members and Mr. O’Donnell.

“She was able to get all the students off the bus after the accident,” the superintendent said. “She followed procedure and protocol and under extreme circumstances did the best job she could.”

Mr. O’Donnell said Mrs. Titus-Cline’s three children were on the bus that day and her two older children, who are of junior high age, should also be commended for their efforts assisting younger students off the bus.

Speaking for the transportation committee, board member Glenn Honeycutt reported the inclement weather responsible for the treacherous road conditions that day came during the afternoon, after school had already started.

“Bus accidents can happen just like car accidents,” Mr. O’Donnell said. “We’re very thankful no one was injured.”

Elementary co-principals Jeff Reprogle and Molly Hall were also commended for their efforts notifying parents after the crash occurred. Board member Kim Boswell said many parents had commented to her how pleased they were with the school’s response after the crash.

As for the wrecked school bus, it was totaled, Mr. O’Donnell said. It was fully insured, though, and the school board approved a resolution Tuesday to go out for bid on “one or more buses.” The school’s insurance will reimburse the district for one bus to replace the seven-year-old bus lost in the crash. Insurance has already sent the district a check for $34,000 to begin the process of replacing its bus, Mr. O’Donnell said.

To keep up with its rotation of buses, Indian Lake typically purchases at least one, sometimes two, new buses per year, school officials said. The resolution passed by the board authorizes administrators to take bids on the cost of new school buses.

According to a report from Transportation Supervisor Pat Smith, Indian Lake school buses have amassed about 211,000 miles this year, with 192,000 of those miles coming from the district’s daily bus routes. The school buses average about 7.07 miles per gallon, Mr. Smith reported.    

In other action, the board:

• approved membership in the Ohio School Board association;

• accepted the revised purpose statement of the high school art club;

• approved an additional bus route and driver for the after school program, to be paid for with grant funds; and

• approved the 2013-2014 school calendar. First day for students is Aug. 21. Staff reports Aug. 19.

The next regular Indian Lake school board meeting is March 18.

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