A school bus carrying Council Grove., Kan., eighth-graders to Thursday’s Royals game was involved in a wreck that snarled traffic on the downtown loop.
Three people, including a parent riding in a Jeep Wrangler trailing the bus, were taken to hospitals after the five-vehicle, chain-reaction incident. A second bus also carrying Council Grove Middle School students was not involved.
Students on the rear-ended bus reportedly escaped injury.
The wreck happened about noon after the buses slowed down but trailing traffic did not.
A paint truck trying to make a lane change initiated the wreck, said Sgt. Jeff Cowdrey.
“The driver is claiming he looked to his right and when he came back everything had stopped in front of him,” Cowdrey said.
Iesha Hawkins, who was driving the Jeep, said she “saw it coming” but could only hold the steering wheel tightly as the paint truck rear-ended her Jeep, pushing it into a vehicle in front of her on southbound U.S. 71 at 11th Street.
“I just knew he was not going to get slowed down in time, and I just held the brake and held the wheel and hoped that it didn’t get any worse than what it had to,” said Hawkins, 39, whose daughter was a passenger on one of the buses.
One of the vehicles hit in the chain-reaction wreck got pushed slightly underneath the school bus, Cowdrey said.
The Council Grove students had visited the Arabia Steamboat Museum and were headed to Kauffman Stadium for the game between the Royals and Baltimore Orioles.
Highway workers closed lanes of traffic while authorities investigated and cleared the wreck scene.