Courtesy of The Associated Press:

NORTH WEBSTER, Ind. –  A school bus slammed into the back of another bus, setting off a chain-reaction crash 
involving four buses in northern Indiana, leaving dozens of middle and high students with non-serious injuries and one driver seriously injured.

Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Chad Hill said the bus driver was taken by helicopter to Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne. He said more than 100 students from Wawasee School Corp. were on the buses when the accident occurred about a mile north of North Webster, about 40 miles west of Fort Wayne.

Kosciusko Community Hospital spokeswoman Joy Lohse said 43 people injured in the accident were being treated there. None of them were in serious or critical condition. Lohse said she didn't have any additional information, including how many of the patients were students or their exact conditions. A nursing supervisor at IU Health Goshen Hospital said four students being treated there were in good condition.

Hill said several other students were released to their parents and may have been brought to area hospitals for minor injuries.

The cause of the accident about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday wasn't immediately known. Photos from the scene showed the bus in the back of the collision had heavy damage to the front end, with the hood of the vehicle lying in the road. The bus in front of it had a deep dent in the back. The damage to the other two vehicles  was not as visible.

Hill said the accident apparently occurred when the bus at the front apparently stopped to let a student off.

Children who were not injured were taken by another bus to Wawasee Middle School where they were picked up by their parents, Hill said.

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Article courtesy of:  Courtney Highfield @

It’s true that drivers and passengers in regular vehicles are required to wear seatbelts, but the same is not true for those riding in school buses.  Why?

FOX 31 spoke to Carlton Allen the transportation director with the Georgia Department of Education who said currently the state of Georgia does not require school buses to have seat belts. Allen says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted thorough research and studies that showed seat belts wouldn’t actually make the passengers any safer.

Allen says typically when a school bus gets into an accident with another vehicle, the vehicle crashes into the bottom of the bus which is below where the children are sitting. Allen also said in the past 30 years there have only been two fatalities of a student that was inside a traveling bus during an accident. He says the school bus isn’t the problem here. Allen says most of the accidents that have caused student fatalities were because another vehicle failed to yield or stop when the bus does and ended up striking a child.

FOX 31 also spoke with Kenneth Williams, the transportation director with Dougherty County Schools, who said some of their buses actually do require seatbelts. Williams says the smaller buses that carry Pre-K students or special needs students do
have seatbelts and students are required to wear them. Williams says the bigger buses don’t need seat belts because of the way they are made and the way the seats are.

The seats in buses that are referred to as “compartments” are purposefully designed the way they are so students, if they fall forward, will be caught by the seat in front of them.

Although Georgia doesn’t require seat belts in their school buses, there are some states that do. Morris Fuselier is currently the Chief Executive Officer for a school bus transportation agency in California, and used to have the same title for a transportation agency in Texas. Both of these states now require school buses to have seat belts. Fuselier says he believes having seat belts make the bus safer as a whole, but there is still a problem with making sure students actually wear them.

Fuselier says this law was put into place in 2010 and the agencies he’s worked for have encountered one pretty big problem. This problem has to do with the cost. Fuselier didn’t have exact numbers but said a bus with seatbelts is a significant amount more expensive than a bus without. He also said the process of putting seatbelts in older buses is pricey as well. Fuselier said
this is something the state didn’t fund; it came from their own funds. The buses made before 2005 are “grandfathered in” and don’t have to have seat belts put into them which creates a problem itself. Most parents wanted their child to be on the newer buses with the seatbelts, so Fuselier said they’ve pretty much had to create a whole new fleet of school buses.

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Courtesy of AP

INDIANAPOLIS —The mother of a kindergartner who died in a 2012 school bus crash says she's angry that lawmakers haven't found a way to pay for seat belts on school buses.

Danyelle Smith's 5-year-old daughter, Donasty, died March 12, 2012, when the bus she was riding slammed into a bridge support in Indianapolis. Bus driver Thomas Spencer had a heart attack before the crash and died on impact.

Smith says she'll keep pushing to require seat belts on the state's 16,000 school buses. WTHR-TV reports installing the devices can cost $7,000 to $15,000 per bus.

Bartholomew County and Seymour schools have installed seat belts on their buses. Heritage Christian School in Indianapolis also has seat belts for students. Most other buses only have a seat belt for the driver.