October 14, 2019
Updated: Nov. 30 at 2:29 p.m.

Sixteen students involved in school bus accident

Sheriff reports driver fell asleep at the wheel


LUPTON — A West Branch-Rose City bus driver reportedly fell asleep at the wheel, causing a school bus carrying 16 students to leave the roadway and crash into a tree Friday morning according to the Ogemaw County Sheriff’s Office.

The information was released to the Herald following preliminary investigations into the accident, which sent more than a dozen children to the hospital.

Sheriff Howie Hanft said upon review of the camera on the school bus, the driver reportedly fell asleep at the wheel before the bus left the roadway and collided with a tree.

“Road conditions played no part in this accident,” Hanft said.

Central dispatch received a report of the accident around 7:30 a.m. Nov. 30.

According to West Branch-Rose City Superintendent Phil Mikulski, the accident occurred with the Route 8 bus, which transports children in the Lupton and South Branch area. Mikulski also reported that 15 students were on board the bus at the time of the accident. However, later in the day the district reported there were 16 students involved.

The accident occurred on Doll Road, north of Lupton Road in Lupton.

Two students were picked up by parents. One student was transported to the hospital by Ogemaw County EMS. The other students were transported to the hospital for evaluation by the school.

According to a press release from the district, one student suffered a broken leg and another had a broken collar bone. The rest of the students were uninjured or suffered bumps and bruises.

The driver of the bus was also uninjured.

“Parents of the students involved were contacted immediately by the transportation department,” the press release reads. “...the superintendent followed up with each family of those students at the hospital.”

The district thanked first responders, law enforcement personnel and medical staff at MidMichigan Medical Center - West Branch for their handling of the situation.


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Eric Phillips

My son was one of the children riding the bus today. He sustained only an abrasion on his leg and a cut on his chin. Outside of being shaken a bit he is otherwise doing fine.

Friday, November 30, 2018 | Report this

Prayers for all the children involved in this and speedy recovery for those who were injured

Friday, November 30, 2018 | Report this
Eric Phillips

After my initial post the article was updated with additional information and although my childs physical injuries are minor as of this post, however due to my son being Autistic as the day progresses more hidden injuries meaning, psychological injuries are starting to present themselves. And as of this posting, I am not entirely sure of the extent of the psychological impact of the event he is having. Because of his Autism, he is making random comments throughout the day that leads me to believe that it's having more of an impact than I can tell at this point in time.

Friday, November 30, 2018 | Report this

I wonder if this is a New Driver, unfamiliar with the area, or hasn't had much time behind the wheel, and Not accoustomed to the Winter Road Condtions.; or a Veteran Driver. who has been driving a while with more experience driving on Winter Road Conditions. Either way I see a Drug Screen in the Divers' future. Plus a few Lawsuits in the School Districts future. I am Certainly Thankful No One was injured any worse than they were. It could of been Way Worse. Thanks be to God for that.

Friday, November 30, 2018 | Report this

I don't understand why the buses were running that morning? Why wasn't there a delay? The main roads were icy. Hoping everyone is ok and there's no lasting trauma for any of the kids.

I honestly thought the schools were closed.

Thursday, December 6, 2018 | Report this

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