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Buckeye Local bus crashes near West Liberty

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A Buckeye Local school bus carrying football players was involved in a crash on Route 88 one mile south of the West Liberty college campus.

Buckeye Local's football team was on its way to West Liberty to watch the college team’s practice. However, they came a few miles short when their bus crashed.

It happened just before 5:30 p.m. The bus was the only vehicle involved. Officials say the driver lost control and struck a tree branch. The branch heavily damaged the back of the bus, injuring multiple students.

Speed is thought to be a factor and according to West Virginia State Police, the driver was cited.

Fire and EMS departments from Brooke and Ohio counties responded. Approximately 40 people were on board the bus at the time of the crash.

As of 8:20 p.m., Wheeling Hospital reported 16 patients were treated from the bus accident. Four of those patients were “level two traumas” with one patient being admitted to the intensive care unit. Three patients were admitted to the pediatric unit, according to marketing director Gregg Warren.

As of 9:12 p.m., OVMC/EORH reported another 10 patients were treated. One was undergoing surgery, according to marketing director Karin Janiszewski.

Some students are being kept in hospital overnight.

None of the injuries are thought to be life-threatening at this time.

Buckeye Local Interim Superintendent Scott Celestin says it was scary news to hear, but is relieved, knowing it could have been much worse.

“It's scary,” he said. “Your heart drops. Your stomach goes crazy. I got the first call, but then got reassured by people at the scene that it wasn't anything serious.”

The crash remains under investigation by state police.

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