YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A crash caused a power line to fall onto Interstate 680, sending live wires through a school bus and backing up traffic near Salt Springs Road.
According to an Ohio Edison spokesperson, just before 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, there was a crash at the corner of Marshall Street and Rockview Avenue.
Authorities believe that a tractor-trailer clipped a utility pole, snapping it off at its base and bringing heavy power lines down on the highway above.
A Youngstown City Schools’ bus driving on I-680 hit the power lines as they came down.
A high school student was riding in the bus, heading to summer classes at Chaney High School.
Bus Driver Santina Barnes said when the accident happened, she thought she was seeing things.
“Everything on the bus was damaged, and the wires were live. The wires came in the bus,” Barnes said. “I went to the back of the seat and scooted myself down, and at that point, once the bus had come to a complete stop, I just got me and the student off safely.”
Crews from FirstEnergy managed to cut the lines, which fell along the highway, but the bus sustained heavy damage to its grill. Its side mirrors were also ripped off, and the shattered windshield sent shards of glass flying all around the inside of the bus.
Amazingly, neither Barnes nor her passenger was hurt.
Barnes is one of the district’s bus-driving instructors. She said she has watched training videos of accidents like this but has never actually been in one.
She said it left her and her passenger pretty scared.
“She had her cry. I had my cry. We’re good,” she said. “We talked with our family members. We’re fine. We’re blessed to be here.”
Police say that semi-truck that caused the mess left the scene. Investigators are asking for anyone who may have witnessed the initial crash to call them.
That phone number is 330-742-8946.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story said a preschool student was on board the bus. It was actually a high school student. We regret the error.