Along dangerous stretch of road, bus driver says a tree kept bus - KMOV.com

Along dangerous stretch of road, bus driver says a tree kept bus from tipping

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4 children were on a bus that rolled into an embankment in O'Fallon, Mo. Wednesday. Credit: KMOV 4 children were on a bus that rolled into an embankment in O'Fallon, Mo. Wednesday. Credit: KMOV

ST. CHARLES COUNTY (KMOV.com) – A homeowner in St. Charles County is concerned with safety on her street after a school bus with children on board crashed into a tree.

Carrie Rogers lives off of Hickory Hill Drive, a subdivision north of Interstate 70. She says the bus was just the latest accident along their winding road.

“It actually went up on two wheels and, thank goodness hit a tree because the tree is what righted it, otherwise it would have tipped over,” said Rogers.

The bus driver said he hit the tree on purpose in the hopes of keeping the bus upright.

“It was like ice, it was just raining, and I couldn't control the bus, so I just thought we’re going to go, so I’m going to make this the best way possible without tipping over,” explained Roger Peck, a bus driver for Fort Zumwalt School District.

Peck hit the tree, crunching the front of the bus and pinning him behind the wheel. He was bruised and sore but the four kids on board were uninjured.

“That was the thing on my mind was the kids, it shook me pretty good,” said Peck.

It also shook Rogers, who has seen her fair share of accidents in front of her home.

“It was really scary, out of all the accidents we’ve had, and we’ve had 25-30, all minor until yesterday, that was the first time I was ever really afraid,” said Rogers.

She says the problem is the curve but also how wet the asphalt gets when it rains. Peck is a substitute driver and had never driven that route.

Peck was driving the posted speed limit of 25, but those who drive the street regularly say it should be 15 around the curb.

Rogers says a warning sign would be helpful. She plans to call her city leaders to ask about putting up a sign.

“If there had been a sign there or something like that it would have definitely helped,” said the bus driver

The school district says they plan to use this as a teaching moment to ensure other drivers are aware of the road. 

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