SOUTHSIDE — The driver of a semi-truck has been cited in an accident involving a school bus and another tractor trailer on U.S. 35 on Tuesday morning.
Benjamin C. Marshal, 28, Neosho, Mo., was cited for driving too fast for roadway conditions and failure to maintain control, according to the Mason County Sheriff’s Department.
The accident occurred a little after 7 a.m. Tuesday morning on U.S. 35 in Southside on the stretch of road that shrinks from four lanes to two just south of Cornstalk Rd.
A Mason County Schools bus traveling northbound was stopped, loading students with lights activated, the sheriff’s department said. Another semi-truck had come to a stop behind the school bus when the semi-truck driven by Marshal struck the parked semi-truck. This caused a chain reaction, pushing the semi-truck which was stopped into the rear end of the school bus, pushing the bus forward. The sheriff’s department reported all vehicles sustained major damage.
There were injuries to nine of the 19 children on the bus and the driver of the stopped semi-truck literally stuck in the middle of the accident was also injured. Four of the students were transported to Pleasant Valley Hospital and five went to Holzer Medical Center, with all being treated and later released, according to the hospitals’ separate spokespersons. Prior to receiving patients, both hospitals launched into preparation for trauma patients and prepared for the worst. The driver of the semi-truck was transported to a Charleston area hospital. The injured driver’s name has not been released and his condition was not known at press time.
According to Karen Jones, operations chief for Mason County EMS, the agency had eight trucks on the scene with mutual aid from Putnam County as well as Cabell County, the latter of which was assisting on another accident with injuries on Jerry’s Run Rd. Again, there were a total 10 people transported from the U.S. 35 scene, including the nine students.
The crash closed both lanes of U.S. 35 for nearly four hours to clear the roadway and clean up the scene. Detours were established until the road was given the all clear around 11 a.m.
The sheriff’s department says this crash remains under investigation with assistance from the West Virginia Department of Transportation and the West Virginia State Department of Highway Safety personnel.
Along with the sheriff’s department, Mason County and Putnam County EMS, also on the scene, the Point Pleasant Fire Department.