Two people were reportedly killed, and at least 42 others taken to hospitals for treatment of injuries, in a four vehicle accident on Highway 44 near Gray Summit, on Thursday August 5th. The accident involved a tractor trailer semi cab, a pickup truck and two school buses carrying band members from John F. Hodge High School in St. James, Missouri to the Six Flags over Mid America Amusement Park.
Apparently, the semi-cab had slowed down due to congestion created by a construction zone, when it was rear ended by the pickup. The pickup was then struck by the first bus carrying the female band members, which was then struck by the second bus carrying the male band members. The first school bus was thrust up on top of the pickup when it was struck, crushing the pickup truck. Witness reported the pickup was barely recognizable in the wreckage.
The driver of the pickup and a high school girl riding in the back of the first bus were reportedly killed.
According to the highway patrol investigating the accident, the driver of the first bus had moved into the passing lane to give more room to a distressed vehicle on the highway shoulder. She then checked her rear view mirror when changing back to the right hand lane when she noticed the semi and pickup collision. At that point she was unable to stop in time.
Thirty six children were reportedly taken to SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis, with each appearing to be in good condition according to a hospital spokeswoman.
Six more children were taken to St. John’s Mercy Medical Center with injuries unknown. It was reported than one of those injured was later flown by helicopter to Cardinal Glennon because that hospital had a higher-level pediatric trauma unit.
Four other victims were taken to St. Clare Health Center in Fenton, Mo. For treatment of minor injuries.