WEST MILTON — The bus driver involved in a fatal head-on collision last month and the school employees who arrived on scene to help were honored Monday night by the Milton-Union Board of Education.
The board recognized Diane Kauffman, JoDell Garrison, Michael Meredith, Michael Rohr, Cynthia Adkins, and Steven Moore for their response to the crash on Jan. 28.
“Thank you all. You are all superheroes,” Superintendent Dr. Ginny Rammel said.
Kauffman was driving the bus that was struck head-on by a car that crossed left-of-center. The driver of that vehicle was killed on impact, but no students were seriously injured.
Garrison arrived at the accident and transported students back to school. Other staff members also stopped on their way to work to aid the students and the driver.
At Monday night’s board meeting, a round of applause moved Kauffman to tears as she was recognized for her actions to keep students safe after the crash. Her fellow drivers came to the meeting to support her and the staff members.
“These people were not happy about coming because they said, ‘we did what we should do, I mean, anybody would do it.’ No, not anybody. Not everybody,” Rammel said of the staff members honored at the meeting.
The board presented these staff members with proclamations of appreciation praising them for their quick-thinking and heroism.
Kauffman is back behind the wheel and the children are back in class.
According to a preliminary investigation by the Miami County Sheriff’s Office, driver Taylor Dickey’s car was traveling an estimated 101 mph and accelerating before impact.
Further information, including the results of toxicology tests, won’t be available for several more weeks.
The district’s insurance company is expediting the claim on the 2007 Blue Bird bus involved in the Jan. 28 accident, district treasurer Kay Altenburger said.
Board member Connie McCarroll suggested giving the new bus a different number from the one involved in the crash.
“Thinking about the children that were on the bus, I don’t know how traumatized they were, but I’m wondering if it would be well not to renumber the bus?” she suggested. “Just from a physician’s viewpoint.”
Reach Cecilia Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (937) 552-2205.