LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Students from a private Louisville school were injured Thursday when the bus taking them on a field trip ran off a rainswept interstate and overturned in south-central Kentucky while being passed by a tractor-trailer, sending 19 people to the hospital, authorities said.
Everyone aboard the bus destined for Mammoth Cave National Park was taken to T.J. Samson Community Hospital in nearby Glasgow, Kentucky State Police said. A hospital spokesman said the injuries ranged from broken bones to cuts and bruises.
One adult and three children later were taken to hospitals in Louisville to be treated for non-life threatening injuries, while the others were treated and released from the Glasgow hospital, said its spokesman, Bart Logsdon.
The bus driver initially told authorities he thought the tractor-trailer struck the bus, but investigators concluded otherwise after inspecting the bus that overturned while tumbling down an embankment, said state police Trooper Jonathan Biven.
"When we pulled the bus and were able to get a good look at it, there was no evidence that there had been any kind of impact" with the tractor-trailer, Biven said in a telephone interview.
The crash occurred along Interstate 65 about a mile north of Cave City.
The bus driver gave authorities only a vague description of a white tractor-trailer, and police had put out word to area authorities to be on the lookout for the rig that kept on going as the bus crashed. The accident occurred at 8:46 a.m. CDT.
The bus carried 16 fourth graders, two teachers and the driver from Louisville Collegiate School, said school spokeswoman Elizabeth Post.
Several hours after the crash, state police said the bus driver lost control of the southbound vehicle while the tractor-trailer passed it. The bus veered off the right side of the roadway and down the embankment, police said. Speed did not appear to be a factor, they said.
The investigation is ongoing.
No charges are anticipated, Biven said.
The bus was one of two transporting Collegiate fourth graders on the field trip to Mammoth Cave, Post said.
The other bus, about a mile ahead of the stricken bus, arrived at Mammoth Cave unaware of the crash, she said. As soon as the driver found out, the bus turned back for Louisville.
Collegiate's head of school, Scott Prince, went to the scene along with other faculty members, Post said.