Joplin School District: 'No apparent injuries' to students after school bus rear-ended

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Sep. 8—No students were injured Thursday morning when a Joplin Schools bus was rear-ended on East Seventh Street, according to a statement posted to social media by the school district.

The bus was holding approximately 20 students from Soaring Heights Elementary School plus the driver, said Matt Harding, assistant superintendent for operations, in a follow-up interview with the Globe. The accident occurred around 7:30 a.m. while the bus was on its normal morning pickup route, he said.

Emergency medical personnel who responded to the crash site found "no apparent injuries" to the students or bus driver, Harding said. The parents of all the students were notified, he said.

Most students were transferred to another bus and taken to school, while some were picked up and taken to school by their parents, the district said. Once at school, the students were again checked by district nurses and given access to counseling services if desired, the statement said.

"We appreciate our community's concern and continue to work to ensure the safety of our students and staff," the district said in its statement.

Harding said the school bus suffered a dented bumper and a broken window, but it remained in good shape structurally and was driven back to the district's bus barn by a mechanic. He said the district was submitting details for a police report, and a claim would be filed with the district's insurance provider.

The accident was a reminder "for all of us out there in the morning to be aware and pay attention," Harding said. "Thankfully, it all turned out well for everybody."

Joplin police Sgt. Andy Blair said later on Thursday morning that he did not have a complete police report on the crash, but preliminary information suggested it was a noninjury incident for all involved parties.