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Four Spared In Bus Crash

By Staff | Nov 26, 2008

Three Muncy High School teenage girls and a bus driver all escaped serious injury last Thursday afternoon in a school bus crash about three miles east of here in Muncy Creek Township, state police said.

Investigators determined that Chris Raymer lost control of the bus as she was traveling north, descending a hill in the 2400 block of Muncy Exchange Road about 3 p.m.

According to police reports, the right front tire traveled onto an area adjoining an uneven area of pavement. Once off of the roadway, the bus was pulled into the soft, uneven dirt and stone shoulder.

Raymer, 58, took evasive actions in an attempt to slow and bring the bus back onto the road and veered back onto the pavement, throwing the bus into a clockwise spin and rotating the rear of the bus across the south bound lane. During the spin, a mailbox and tree stump were clipped. As the left rear dual tires were forced back onto the west berm, the outside tire blew out, causing the bus to spin uncontrollably.

The 2000 Freightliner bus traveled back across the north bound lane, striking an embankment, and continuing to spin clockwise and flipping onto its right side, facing the direction it was coming from.

The bus, owned by Brelsford Transportation, 37 North Main Street, was totalled in the crash, with an estimate of $70,000 in damages.

After the crash, Raymer and the three students riding on the bus all climbed out through an emergency door at the back of the vehicle, police said.

Raymer had dropped off some students in the area minutes before the accident.

“This could have been a lot worse,” said Thomas J. Gardner, board president of the Muncy School District. He, along with high school Principal Tim Welliver and Ward L. Myers Elementary School Principal William Ramsey, were among school district officials who responded to the crash minutes after it happened.

The district has a busing contract with Brelsford, Ramsey said.

Raymer, along with the students, was taken by ambulances to Muncy Valley Hospital. The teen all suffered minor injuries.

Raymer, who has been employed with Brelsford since 1994 as a bus driver, suffered moderate injuries, with a head wound and bumps and bruises, the majority of which were sustained from the seat restraint, said Kay Buck, a spokes person from the bus transportation company.

Raymer not only was a driver, but trained other drivers in the Muncy School district, and was certified through Blast I.U. No. 17 to train drivers in other school districts.

Volunteer firefighters and paramedics responded from Muncy Creek township, Muncy borough, Muncy Township and Hughesville. Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Mark Evans, and Charles T. Kindlimann, Jr., Montoursville Barracks, attended the scene.

About 10 minutes after the bus crash, a van and a car collided on Route 220 near Pennsdale, closing the two-lane road from the upper and lower ends of Village Road for about an hour, according to Pennsdale Fire Chief Corey Palmatier. No one was injured in that crash.

A handful of other crashes occurred when a dusting of snow caused slippery road conditions.