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UPDATE: Gate City student seriously injured after car hits school bus

February 25th, 2014 7:38 pm by Wes Bunch

UPDATE: Gate City student seriously injured after car hits school bus

HILTONS — A Gate City High School student was seriously injured Tuesday after she reportedly rear-ended a Scott County Public Schools bus near Hiltons.

Two students aboard the bus received minor injuries in the collision, a Virginia State Police spokeswoman said.

The incident occurred at 3:43 p.m. on state Route 58, approximately two miles east of its intersection with U.S. Route 23, according to Scott County Central Dispatch.

Scott County Schools Superintendent John Ferguson said a total of seven students — five from Gate City Middle School and two from Gate City High School — were on board bus No. 51 when it was rear-ended by a 2008 Honda Accord.

State police said the bus' flashing lights and side-arm stop sign were activated at the time.

Ferguson said the bus had stopped to drop off two students when the collision happened. One of the students exiting the bus at reportedly struck his head and was taken to the hospital by his parents as a precaution. The second student received a cut on his arm, Ferguson said.

The driver of the car, Star S. Shaffer, 18, of Hiltons, was transported by VSP MedFlight to Holston Valley Medical Center where she was treated for serious but non-life threatening injuries.

Shaffer, who was not wearing a seatbelt, reportedly had to be extricated from her vehicle.

Ferguson said all of the students on board the bus were assessed at the scene by emergency responders before being released to their parents.

The bus involved in the accident only received minor damage. Ferguson said he did not expect the incident to impact the bus’ route.

The bus' driver, Lee R. Sanders, 60, of Hiltons, was not injured in the crash. Sanders was wearing a seatbelt.

Ferguson said the accident was the first one this school year involving a Scott County Public Schools bus.

Virginia State Police, the Scott County Sheriff’s Office and emergency crews from Weber City and Hiltons responded to the scene. School system officials were also present following the wreck.

The cause of the wreck is still under investigation by state police. Charges are said to be pending.

The incident was the third in a week involving area buses. Two separate incidents involving Sullivan County buses sent Ketron Elementary students to area hospitals with minor injuries.

Updated at 9 p.m. to include the identity of the car and bus drivers.

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