Statement from Kenston Forest concerning accident

Published 12:07 pm Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Paul Zanowski, headmaster of Kenston Forest School, issued a statement concerning the bus and occupants affected by the accident in the area of Route 40 and Flectcher Chapel Road where a dump truck struck Kenston Forest’s Bus 26, a bus designated for Kenbridge.

“At this point in time, we do not know the full extent of the injuries,” the statement cited. “We know that some of the students have suffered broken bones, cuts, and are badly bruised. Others are still undergoing testing and evaluation.”

Five of the students and the bus driver were treated and released last night, the statement cited. A student remains hospitalized, undergoing further testing and treatment.

“This has been a very frightening day for our school family,” the statement cited.  “Let us all pray for their full and speedy recovery.”

State Police officials cited that the accident occurred Tuesday afternoon.

“A Kenston Forest School bus and truck were traveling south on Route 40,” Corinne Geller with Virginia State Police said. “As it slowed to make a left turn onto Fletcher Chapel Road, the truck failed to stop in time and struck the rear of the bus. The impact of the crash caused the bus to spin around and overturn onto its side.”

Geller said the driver of the dump truck, John R. Grizzard, 38, of Emporia, was charged with failure to maintain control of his vehicle. Grizzard was not injured in the crash. His truck was transporting a dumpster, which remained intact in the crash.

“The crash remains under investigation,” Geller said. “The Virginia State Police Motor Carrier Safety Team also responded to the scene to assist with the investigation.”

The Kenston Forest statement cited the following:

  • “The bus driver (whose name was not released to protect his privacy) and 13 children were traveling on Route 40, from Blackstone, in the direction of Kenbridge.”
  • “Eyewitnesses report that the bus driver had his turn signal on as he prepared to turn left onto Fletcher Chapel Road. They report that he was driving slowly as he began the left turn.”
  • “The eyewitnesses report that a dump truck failed to slow down and stop, and struck the rear of the bus.”
  • “The force of the collision was enough to tip the bus over, onto its right side.”
  • “Our bus driver and older students on the bus made sure every child was safely evacuated from the bus.”  
  • “The dump truck driver has been cited.” This information was confirmed by Virginia State Police.                                                                                                                                                                        

“Friends, tonight please hug your children a little tighter, and please offer prayers of healing,” the statement cited.