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Highland students, community adjusting following bus crash

Highland students, community adjusting following bus crash

4 months, 2 weeks ago by Brittney McMahon, special to Quincy Journal

Attendance has returned to normal after a few days of students staying home to cope with tragedy

“My deepest gratification goes out to all the different responders that helped, words cannot describe my appreciation of the caring help they provided.” Superintendent of Lewis County C-1 School District Jacqueline Ebeling was appreciative after the traumatic bus crash rollover involving 24 Lewis County C-1 students occurred on April 1.

The rollover took place near the intersection of Juniper west and Hwy. C of LaGrange, Mo. The school district staff and families are trying to get back into the normal swing of things. According to Ebeling, the families impacted by the accident have been in constant contact with the school.

“The students on the bus did not come back for a few days. I think the students obviously needed to recover at home and they come back when they’re ready. Our attendance went down 2 or 3 percent, so from about 97 down to about 92 percent,” said Ebeling.

According to Ebeling, the kids that chose not to come back the next day just needed a day off to calm down and relax after the traumatic situation. They needed the security of being at home for a day. At this point, attendance has returned to where it started before the crash took place.

Only two students remain in St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Natali Allensworth is still considered to be in satisfactory condition and Gavin Meyer remains in good condition. The school’s insurance program has insured a nurse that has conversations with the hospital and the families of Allensworth and Meyer. The nurse is sent over to the La Grange school to be actively involved with students affected by the crash several times a week. Staff and members of the community are doing what they can to help families that were affected and the two children that are still hospitalized.

Ebeling expressed that community churches are helping with donations and prayers are coming from all over. Staff members of the school district are on a rotation of providing support to the families, organizing penny drives and teachers are wearing jeans until Easter; in which they had to pay 15 dollars in order to do so. Donations will be asked for at an upcoming school play as well. That money is donated to Allensworth’s and Meyer’s families as well. Alternative fundraisers for the two children still injured are still being planned.

“I believe one thing that has really helped us with this situation was that the bus driver is well thought of. The parents know this district goes above and beyond to ensure parents that students are well cared for and safe,” said Ebeling.

Driver John W. Logan, 62, was one of nearly 30 people injured in the crash. After recovering from his injuries Logan has returned to his job as a bus driver for the district as of Wednesday April 10.


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