Superintendent responds to accident

Published 6:20 pm Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Dr. Gwendolyn Shannon, superintendent of Southampton Public Schools, has issued the following statement in reaction to the accident that involved a school bus and truck, which collided mid-afternoon on Wednesday:

“Today, bus number 922 was involved in an accident on Highway 58 West. There were 30 students on the bus. All of the students that were on the bus and the bus driver are safe. The scene was secured by local authorities to include our Virginia State Police, Southampton County Sheriff’s Department, as well as other emergency management personnel. Some students were transported by bus to the high school, our reunification site and command post where Mrs. Allene Atkinson, high school principal; Mr. Derrick Johnson, high school assistant principal; Mr. Darian Bell, middle school principal; Mrs. Susan Fowler, middle school assistant principal; myself and other school personnel awaited their arrival for parent pickup and further examination by our school nurses, Mrs. Joyce Tomlin, RN and Mrs. Amy Cook, LPN.

“Five students, as well as the driver of the bus and the passenger in the other vehicle were transported to the Southampton Memorial Hospital by ambulance for further examination.

“Upon examination by our school nurses, three additional students were transported by parents to the hospital. As always, the safety of our students and employees is of paramount importance. We pray that the driver of the other vehicle and passengers did not sustain serious injuries.

“We are grateful to our local Sheriff’s Department, Virginia State Police, multiple fire departments and rescue squads for their professionalism in providing care to our students and employee during this incident.

“We are also appreciative of the quick thinking of our students; Mr. Ricky Blunt, director of transportation; Mr. Chris Tsitsera, federal programs director; Mr. Darian Bell, middle school principal; and various citizens. We are privileged to have a high school student, Christopher Bailey, who is a member of Courtland’s Volunteer Fire Department whose training and swift response helped to keep everyone calm and stable until other authorities arrived.

“Tomorrow, all students will be reassessed by our school nurses, and guidance counselors will be onsite to assist any students with this incident.”