GREENWOOD COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – Abbeville County School District and South Carolina Highway Patrol officials confirmed multiple students and adults were injured in a school bus crash on Highway 25 near Nation Road in the county Friday afternoon.
South Carolina Highway Patrol officials said the crash happened around 1:20 p.m. on Highway 25 near Nation Road, around four miles south of Ware Shoals.
Highway Patrol said the bus was traveling south on Highway 25 near Nation Road and was returning to Westwood Elementary School.
The bus then reportedly went off the right side of the road, hit a utility pole and a fence, and then traveled down an embankment.
The bus — a 2015 Thomas Built vehicle — was carrying 35 people on-board, including the driver.
According to highway patrol, 13 people, including nine students, were transported to an area hospital.
The driver of the bus was injured and taken to Self Regional Medical Center in Greenwood. Highway Patrol officials said it is unclear on whether or not the driver was wearing a seat belt.
According to highway patrol, 29 students and five chaperones were on the bus.
“At least one student and two adults were taken by helicopter to Greenville Memorial Hospital. Eight students and two adults were transported to Self Regional Medical Center in Greenwood by EMS,” according to highway patrol. “The remaining students were returned to their families.”
Abbeville County School District Superintendent Betty Jo Hall said the school bus was carrying fourth grade students who were returning from a field trip.
According to Hall, one other student that was on the crashed bus was later taken to the hospital by their parent after being picked up at the National Guard Armory on Highway 25. The 16 other students that were on the bus, but were not injured, were being reunited with their parents at the armory.
Hall said no students were reported to be in critical condition.
She said all parents of students involved in the bus crash have been notified.
According to school officials, the two other buses that were on the same field trip arrived safely back at the school.
Greenwood County Sheriff Dennis Kelly confirmed that his deputies also responded to the crash and said South Carolina Highway Patrol was the lead agency at the scene.
This is a developing story. We’re working to get more information as it becomes available.