PIQUA — A Piqua City Schools bus driver and bus aide remain hospitalized but are in stable condition thanks, in large part, to three Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers.
Superintendent Dwayne Thompson rushed to the scene as soon as he learned of the Friday afternoon crash that occurred in the southbound lanes of I-75 near Vandalia.
Thompson said it is his understanding that troopers were able to remove the aide from the wreckage quickly and then turn their attention to the bus driver.
“She was trapped in there. The vehicle was on fire,” said Thompson, “they (three troopers) were able to protect her using their jackets while others retrieved fire extinguishers from their cars and put the fire out before anything more serious could happen.”
Thompson did not release the employees names, but the driver was transported by CareFlight to Miami Valley Hospital. She sustained injuries, but is expected to recover. The aide was also injured and transported by ground medics. He is also expected to recover.
Thompson said that he intends to invite Trooper James Davis, Trooper Chip Gannon, and Trooper Jason Hutchison to the January Piqua School Board Meeting to recognize them for their actions in saving the bus driver from further injury or death.
“We were so lucky there were no students (aboard the bus),” said Thompson, “but we did have staff, so of course we are very concerned about that so our thoughts and prayers are with them at this point.”