Nine school students and their bus driver escaped serious injury on Friday morning, May 24, when their school bus was involved in a collision with a car as it approached Rolvenden. The driver of the car had to be cut free and was taken by air ambulance to King’s College Hospital, London, with injuries described as serious but not life-threatening.
The incident happened at about 8:10am as the Rye & District Community Transport bus, one of three which take pupils from the Rye area to and from Homewood School at Tenterden, approached Rolvenden and was involved in a collision with a car coming in the opposite direction. The offside of the bus was damaged before the car then collided with a vehicle behind, coming to a halt further along the road.
Driver Tracie Fittall kept control of the bus after the impact and brought it to a safe stop on the grass verge. Tracie herself praised the nine pupils on the bus (all wearing seatbelts) who did not panic but remained calm throughout.
All were checked by ambulance crews and one pupil and Tracie were taken to the William Harvey Hospital for precautionary scans and subsequently discharged. The other eight pupils were taken to Homewood by one of the other RDCT buses which had come to provide assistance.
The police arranged for the removal of the bus which was picked up by Ashford Recovery and taken to their compound.
Although it is up to insurers to decide on the outcome, RDCT feels that it is unlikely that the bus would be considered economically viable to repair (especially given that it is a coach-built rather than a production-line vehicle) and that a replacement will have to be sourced. Any and all donations will be gratefully received by RDCT. Cheques can be sent to Rye and District Community Transport at Rye Wharf, Rye Harbour, TN31 7TE or contact Pt Hughes on 01797 227722 if you want today by BACS. More information about RDCT nd the service they offer is available on their website.
Image Credits: RDCT driver Jon Laurie.