GILBERT - An accident outside the entrance for the Gilbert Middle School involving a school bus that had just let students off at the school and a coal truck that was unable to stop before the collision occurred, has been attributed to the rainy weather that plagued the Tug Valley area last week.
According to Mingo County Sheriff’s Department Cpl. J. Endicott, A coal truck operated by Dave Ward and owned by family Traditions Trucking was traveling on Rt. 52 near the entrance of the school when he applied his brakes and started to slide in the direction of school buses which were in the process of unloading their passengers. To avoid a collision that would have more than likely created injury, the driver swerved into the opposite lane of traffic and struck the front of a bus that was exiting the school.
The driver of the bus, Patsy Dingess, was the sole passenger and was not injured in the mishap, nor was the coal truck operator.
“We want to emphasize to all driver’s that with the changing of seasons upon us, we’re expecting more rainy days and eventually, snow and ice conditions will apply,” stated the corporal. “We urge everyone to drive with caution, especially when you are near a school zone or in congested traffic.”
“Always be aware of your surroundings, use your mirrors and keep a close eye on those traveling in front of you who may turn without giving a signal or warning.”
Endicott stated that should the coal truck have collided with the buses still loaded with children, the outcome could have been one with a very different ending.
“School zones are an area that we need to be especially careful in, injuries can occur in the blink of an eye if the drivers fails to use caution.”