Owen County Crash Sends Several Spencer-Owen Students to Area Hospitals

Owen County Crash Sends Several Spencer-Owen Students to Area Hospitals

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Just before 8:00 o’clock this morning a southbound US 231 semi tractor trailer slid across the center line and struck a northbound Spencer- Owen School Bus carrying 31 passengers.

The crash resulted from the semi striking the front driver’s side head on and then skidding down the entire left side of the bus, pushing the bus off the roadway and in the direction of a tree line.

The crash happened just north of Dunn Road.
 
Twelve passengers were transported to area hospitals for treatment from glass cuts and complaint of pain to head, chest and arms.

Student passenger ages ranged from 7 to 17 years old. The remaining passengers were transported to their school and were checked by the school nurse.
 
The driver of the semi, Christopher Lee Reinhardt, 35 of Terre Haute, was cited for Driving Left of Center and Driving too Fast for Road Conditions.
 
The school bus driver, Verl Keith, 70 of Spencer suffered hand and head injuries and was transported to IU Health Bloomington Hospital for treatment.
 
Trooper William Brown and emergency personnel at the scene praised Bus Driver Verl Keith for his diligence and persistence as he fought to keep his heavily damaged bus upright and away from the approaching trees.

Trooper Brown said “The school bus left the roadway completely and could have easily turned over. If that would have happened, this crash would have seen a lot more kids severely injured.”
 
Trooper William Brown investigated the crash. Assisting agencies at the scene included the Owen Valley Fire Department, Owen County EMS Ambulance Service, Owen County Sheriff’s Department, Spencer Police Department, Bland’s Towing and Craney Towing Service’s.